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http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924027503139 



MASTERS OF ENGLISH JOURNALISM 



BY THE SAME AUTHOR 
Demy 8vo, cloth, l6/- 

The Story of British Diplomacy : 
Its Makers and Movements 

Society in the Country House : 

Anecdotal Records of 

Six Centuries 

LONDON: T. FISHER UNWIN 




FLEET STREET. 

(F.o,u a tnul i„ ll.c Cnn-c ColUhou. T. S. Hoys. del. a,u1 lUho.. 1838. 



Masters of 
english journalism 

A STUDY OF PERSONAL FORCES 



BY 

T. H. S. ESCOTT 

AUTHOR OF 
■ SOCIETY IN THB COtlNTRY HOUSS," "THS STOKY OF BRITISH DIPLOMACY," 

ETC 



T. FISHER UNWIN 

LONDON LEIPSIC 

ADELPHI TERRACE INSELSTRASSE 20 

1911 




[All rights reserved.^ 



%0 

SIR EDWARD L. LAWSON 

FIRST BARON BURNHAM, OF HALL BARN, BEACONSFIELD, 
AND OF FLEET STREET, 

THE HEAD OF A FAMILY WHICH ORIGINATED, WHICH STILL 
OWNS AND MANAGES THE EARLIEST AND GREATEST OF PENNY 
PAPERS, TO-DAY THE OLDEST REPRESENTATIVE OF JOURNAL- 
ISM AS A NATIONAL INSTITUTION, TO WHOSE FAMILY IT IS 
LARGELY DUE THAT POPULAR JOURNALISM HAS ORGANISED 
ITSELF AS AN HONOURABLE AND PROSPEROUS PROFESSION, 
IS INSCRIBED WITH PERMISSION AND IN ACKNOWLEDGMENT 
OF UNFAILING PERSONAL OBSERVATION AND KINDNESS 
EXTENDING OVER FORTY YEARS OF NEWSPAPER WORK, 
THIS RECORD OF THE JOURNALIST'S RISE AND PROGRESS, 
BY HIS SINCERE AND OBLIGED 

T. H. S. ESCOTT 



PREFACE 

There are several good histories of, or Kooks mainly, 
about, newspapers. Some of these have not ignored the 
names and work of those who have written for them. 
The individual, however, in all cases has beeii sub- 
ordinated to the enterprise. Primarily, and as far as 
possible exclusively, true at all points to its title, the 
present work deals with the personal agencies of which 
those newspapers are the result. Even in the dim light 
of th^ Middle Ages may be traced the individual outlines 
of the journalist's pioneers. Wiithout any break in the 
succession, these figures, in their '' habit as they lived," 
here pass before the reader's eye. From Marchmont 
Nedham in the seventeenth century to Mr. J. L. Garvin 
in the twentieth, there have, it is hoped, been few g'aps 
in the varied and, from the chronological point of viewy 
orderly procession. The idea of this book, as well as 
of its treatment in detail, was suggested to me by a 
famous journalist of the Victorian age, Frederick Green- 
wood, whom a forty years' intimacy, professional and 
personal, made me think a good authority on a matter of 
this sort. More than once during his last illness this 
earliest editor of mine, and lifelong friend, not only 
recurred to the subject, but in several letters indicated 
down to minute particulars the lines whereon it seemed 
to him indispensable that the work should be done. Its 
interest was, in his opinion, to be personal throughout. 
Thus one had to show the manner in which the men lived, 
suffered, or enjoyed themselves, as well as that in which 
they laboured. This task could not have been carried 
through but for the invaluable assistance given me more 
than generously both by my own contemporaries, as well 
as by many distingluished and kindly men belonging to 
an older generation than minet. The fuller presentation 



8 PREFACE 

of individual journalists could not have been attempted 
before the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. From 
that date onward, about the same amount of space has 
been given to the earlier and the later of the English 
newspapers' makers. At their head, when the present 
volume first shaped itself, was Lord Glenesk, to whom 
from family accidents I had been known, as schoolboys 
say, " at home," and to whom directly, rather than to 
any monograph which his family may since have pub- 
lished, I am indebted for everything! sa,id about his 
ancestral, personal, journalistic relationships and doings. 
His successor and doyen of the English press. Lord 
Burnham, has similarly enabled me to ensure accuracy 
in my remarks concerning the Daily Telegraph's earlier 
days, as well as concerning the men most conspicuous in 
the Fleet Street system, somewhat before my own day. 
Scarcely less have been my obligations to many others, 
who have grudged no pains to help me in verifying oral 
tradition and to make me independent of what has 
elsewhere been published about newspaper workers, 
universally accessible, as such records are, and not the 
less interesting or valuable though the latest phases of 
journalistic actuality and consequent novelty in handling 
did not come within their writers' scope. Here I must 
name Mr. E.J. Goodman, formerly of the Yorkshire Post 
first, the Daily Telegraph afterwards, Mr. T. E. Kebbel, 
Mr. Sidney Low, the late Mr. Edward Spender, or rather 
those who represent him to-day, Mr. Thomas Catling, 
Sir Edward R. Russell, of the Liverpool Daily Post, 
Mr. G. W. E. Russell, equally distinguished in Fleet 
Street and Paternoster Row, and Mr. Justin McCarthy, 
the oldest as well, perhaps, as the most illustrious 
among the ornaments of my own craft. After having 
observed me throughout my entire course, from the 
inexhaustible stores of his experience, with a courtesy 
and kindness not less great and unfailing than his 
knowledge, he has been good enough to supply me 
with touches and colour for episodes, and those who 
figured in them, beyond the reach of my own experi- 
ence. There still remain unmentioned some to whom 
I owe it that there are not more vacancies in this 
gallery of journalistic portraits, and that in preparing 
them I have had the advantage of experiences more 



PREFACE 9 

directly personal, and going back further than my own. 
My venerable and literally encyclopaedic friend, Mr. 
John C. Frajicis, with the ties of a memory that never 
halts and a vigilance that nothing escapes, links together 
probably as m2iny generations of journalistic and literary 
interest as were ever united by a single mind. His Notes 
by the W.ay, a treasure-house in themselves, have, so far 
as concerns me, beeii supplemented by many letters and 
conversations that have, I trust, helped me to throw 
some fresh personal light upoii l^gone newspaper 
episodes and their most important figures. These of 
course include Mr. Milner Gibson ; of him I have in 
another volume » placed some impressions on paper, 
formed from the recollection of juvenile days. The esti- 
mate of his personal and social services to the journalist, 
as given in the present pages, as well as of one or two 
more, is gathered from family letters addressed by him 
to relations of mine who were among his intimates. 
As regards other authorities, the usefulness of the best 
known newspaper histories, including Madden 's work on 
the Irish press, has been little drawn on for the informa- 
tion regarding the journalist out of London, now, it is 
believed, given for the first time. The personal panorama 
imfolded in the present pa-ges includes newspaper figures 
of mark on both sides of St. George's Channel, and 
of a calibre not less than variety justly proportioned to 
the position and power of the periodical pen in the 
great provincial cities of the realm. Here, as in many, 
cognate taatters, I have profited by the local experi- 
ence of Mr. J. M. Tu,ohy, the Freeman's Journal's 
London representative, and the mellow imiversalism of 
Mr. McCarthy. That the present account of the Irish 
journalist at work correctly describes the men, their 
methods, their associations, and their results, is due 
less to my own acquaintance with the country, where 
I have been merely a visitor, than to the practical and 
minute knowledge long since accumulated by Mr. T. M. 
Healy, and in the most ready and handsome mlanner 
placed by him at my disposal. The personal method 
was, as I have said already, the essential condition on 
which Greenwood encouraged and desired me to take 

' Platform, Press, Politics, and Play (Arrowsmith.) 



10 PREFACE 

the matter in hafid. That method, easy enough of appli- 
cation to the gjreater figures ,of the English press, in 
the case of men less well known, but scarcely less 
influential, involves sustained reference to authorities less 
accessible than the ordinary reference books . As regards 
the personal forces secondarily active in forming the 
Fourth Estate*, I could seldom iget more than disconnected 
hints eVen from the Dictionary, of National Biography . 
That work, however, generally put one on the true 
scent, arid suggested the right quarters for discover- 
ing first one group of personal chaiacteristics, then 
another. The clue thus in the first instance obtained, 
and patiently followed up, generally enabled me, often 
in unsuspected comers of little known biographies or 
memoirs, to equip myself with attributes and incidents 
which at length supplied a key to the real character and 
services of many of the less famous among those men- 
tioned in this volume i 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I 

PAGE 

INTRODUCTORY . . . . . -19 

Thackeray on the public and " newspaper rows " — Nineteenth century 
changes caused by growing popular interest in the press— Increase in 
number of well-placed journalistic amateurs — The anonymous system 
on the decline — Nineteenth and twentieth century journalism contrasted 
— Modern newspaper millionaires directly descended from the 
originators of the English press — Ascendancy of the commercial aspect 
— Recent revolutions in the press caused by financial considerations — 
Work of the journalistic profession — The English newspaper the product 
of individual efibrts — Ancient historical modes of influencing public 
opinion — Greek substitutes for the modern pressmen — Tis, the drama, 
and the rhetoricians — Xenophon and Isocrates the first journalists — 
Julius Csesar and the Acta Diuma — Influence of the Roman satirists 
on contemporary thought— The oracles of Greece and Rome. 



CHAPTER II 

THE JOURNALIST AND THE JOURNAL . . -31 

The journalist before the journal — A typical news-writer of the fifl:eenth 
century — War on the " unconscionable newsletter-writer " — The jour- 
nalist displaces the jester — And is employed by the State — Nathaniel 
Butter's career — ^Three " fathers of the English newspaper " — ^John 
Birkenhead the royalist — Marchmont Nedham the parliamentarian and 
political chameleon — Right about face — Defiance of the press censor- 
ship — ^Another "sharp curve" — ^A Commonwealth man once more — 
Collapse of fortunes at the Restoration — Birkenhead's reappearance — 
Experiences during the Interregnum and after — He becomes press 
censor — Retirement — The third " father " — Roger L'Estrange's family 
— ^A loyal subject of the King — ^Work for the cause with sword and 
pen — Condemned to death — Reprieved — Renewal of literary labours 

U 



12 CONTENTS 

— His opinions on licensing laws — Some ingenious suggestions — Pro- 
motion to the press censorship — Impudent formation of newspaper 
monopoly — Origin of the London Gazette, L'Estrange's only rival— 
His connection with the press cut short by the Revolution of 1688 — 
End of the press censorship — The first daily paper — Mallet's foreign 
news — His successor on the Courant — Samuel Buckley's enterprise — 
The coming of Defoe. 



CHAPTER III 

THE FATHERS OF JOURNALISM, FROM DEFOE TO ADDISON . 51 

Defoe's contemporaries— John Tutchin, an early press martyr— John 
Dunton — Daniel Defoe's childhood — "No Popery!" — Joins the Mon- 
mouth rebellion — Flight from England — Foreign travels — Return — 
Commencement of long term of political, personal, and domestic soli- 
tude — Failure of business and settlement at Bristol — Publication of the 
Essay on Projects — Improving fortunes — The foremost political writer 
of the day — -The Legion Memorial — True-Bom Englishman — Defence 
of William III. — Reception of the Shortest Way with Dissenters — 
Establishment of the Review of the Affairs of State — A forerunner of 
the Spectator Club — Defoe the favourite of Court and people — Work 
for the union of England and Scotland — Imprisonment for his Shortest 
Way — Release — Political labours — New features in his broadsides — 
The Review's share in the Tory defeat of 1705 — Rise of Addison — 
Politics before literature — Evolution of the "leader" — A prosperous 
newspaper man — Satire on journalistic romancing — Steele receives the 
mantle of Defoe — The journalist and the tavern — Steel and Addison 
contrasted — Individual publications — The quarrel — ^Addison's death — 
Influence of the two men on contemporary thought and literature. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE EVOLUTION OF THE LEADER. FROM JONATHAN SWIFT 

TO PHILIP FRANCIS , . . . ,82 

Walpole's use of the newspaper — Wholesale "inspiration" — Growth of 
the opposition press — ^The Fourth Estate as a political power — Editorial 
conferences in place of Cabinet Councils — King and his colleE^es of 
the Examiner — Nicholas Amhurst — Early pasquinades £^nst the 
Tories — Editorship of the Tory Craftsman^-CatiazsX between Boling- 
broke and Swift — Bolingbroke establishes the "big bow-wow" style of 
journalism — Swift's satirical genius coloured by years of dependence and 
association with lower classes — ^A pamphleteer first and journalist after- 
wards—Early articles for Steele's TTo^&r— Political writings and beliefe 



CONTENTS 13 



— Presage o the Yonng England mpvement— Success and importance 
of his Conduct of tH Allies, 1 710 — Henry Fielding — His social advan- 
tages and education — Penniless in London — Captain Hercules Vinegar 
— ^Writings for the stage — ^Two political burlesques result in the closing 
of his theatre — Newspaper writing — Gibes at Jacobitism — ^Thomas 
Holcrofl — Tobias Smollett— The "slashing" article — His Briton 
opposed by the Nortk Briton — Early career of John Wilkes — Charac- 
teristics of the newspaper of his day — Dr. Johnson on Wilkes — 
Johnson's parliamentary reports — His periodical essays — Popular 
topics for discussion in the Idler — Influence of Johnsonese on later 
newspaper diction — The Woodfall &mily and the Public Advertiser — 
Appearance of Junius — Philip Francis in Parliament — Did Francis 
write the Letters of Juniusl — His whole career a preparation for his 
contributions to the press — Junius's aims and success. 



CHAPTER V 

THE WORK OF WILLIAM COBBETT . . . .112 

The man of the new age — ^William Cobbett's humble birth and scanty 
education — From lawyer's clerk to private soldier — "Ruling the 
regiment " in Canada — Return to England and discharge — Failure of 
his charges of malversation against former officers causes sudden 
flight to America — Contemporary politics in the States — Cobbett joins 
the fray — Birth of "Peter Porcupine" — Finds America too hot for 
him — In England once more — The Political Register — From Tory to 
Radical — ^Two years' imprisonment — The newspaper man reaches the 
masses — A second flight to America — Cobbett's English Grammar — 
Across the Atlantic with Tom Paine's bones — Reception at home — 
The financial losses caused by the Six Acts and by an unsuccessful 
election contest force Cobbett into bankruptcy — Renewed literary 
labours — Bottom of the poll E^n — Reform violence — ^The rising 
tide — Cobbett, prosecuted by the Whig Government, makes a clever 
defence and is discharged — The Reform Act— On top at last — M.P. 
for Oldham — Closing years. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE TWO HUNTS, PERRY, AND STUART . . . 139 

Leigh Hunt's boyhood — ^Appearance among the journalists — Launching 
the famous Examiner — Its founders' aims and methods — Some of its 
chief features — A model for later journalism — State prosecutions — ^The 
Hunts in prison — Contemporary estimates of Rimini — ^The Indicator 
essays — American criticism^ — Leigh Hunt's Skimpolism — Byron and 



14 CONTENTS 



Hunt on the Z:4«'a/— Ill-assorted yoke-mates — The Cockney and the 
nobleman part— James Perry and the Gazetteer — He buys the Morning 
Chronicle — And takes front rank among the "able editors" — Famous 
writers on the Chronicle — Perry as a social light — His influence on the 
journalistic profession — Struggles of his successor, Black, against succes- 
sive misfortunes and disadvantages — Pott and Slurk in real life — 
"Pickwickian" insults — Daniel Stuart's enterprises and helpers — 
Sir J. Mackintosh — Course of the Post and the Courier. 



CHAPTER VII 

THE WALTERS : THEIR WORK, WRITERS, AND EDITORS . l66 

The journalist's training ground — S. T. Coleridge as journalist— A cool 
ofifer — The dawn of the Walter dynasty — ^The Times under the first 
Walter — Skirmishes in Whitehall — Foreign news organisation under 
Walter the second — Famous members of his staff— -John Stoddart — 
Some slaps at ' ' Slop " — ^Thomas Barnes — His career before and during 
the Times editorship — Notable occasional contributors — Captain 
Edward Sterling, the "Thunderer" — The triumvirate of Printing 
House Square — ^William Combe — " Roving Rabbis " on the Times — 
Peter Fraser — Walter meets the Delanes — J. T. Delane in the chair 
of Barnes — Delane's staff — Remarkable events during his editorship- 
Mistakes of policy and fact — Thomas Chenery, Delane's successor — 
Lord Blachford's contributions. 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE MEN WHO MADE THE PENNY PRESS . . . l86 

Peter Borthwick in Parliament — A terrible threat — He becomes editor 
of the Morning Post — Succeeded by his son Algernon, who buys the 
sheet — Its policy and position in the public world— The Post at a 
popular price — Origin of the Morning Herald — ^A scurrilous print — 
The Baldwins — Rivalry with the Tim^s — ^The Standard as an evening 
paper — ^The Baldwins' staff— Giffard — "Bright, broken Maginn" — 
Proprietorial changes — James Johnstone's enterprise — ^The Standard 
as a morning print — Reductions in price — Captahi Hamber — Fighting 
editors — Hamber's writers — His summary dismissal — The Mudford 
era — Some audacious coups — Occasional contributors — ^The Standard 
in later years— Its unsuccessful rivals — Quick work — ^The Lawsons 
and the Daily Telegraph — Foundation of the penny press — The Tele- 
graph writers— Dickens and the Daily Nems—T\i& novelist-editor's 
ill-success— The work of the Dilkes— Famous correspondents of the 
Daily News. 



CONTENTS 15 

CHAPTER IX 

PAGE 

THE TEACHING MINISTERS OF THE PRESS . . . 2l6 

Educational forces in journalism — ^The great quarterlies and their 
editors — ^William Gifford's remarkable career — ^The weekly newspaper 
— E. F. S. Pigott — Publication of the Leader, a forerunner of the 
Saturday Review — The Leader writers — E. M. Whitty — Vizetelly and 
the Observer — An unheard-of feat — A presumptuous journalist crushed 
— Birth of the illustrated press — Among the Bohemians — Robert 
Brough and James Hannay — ^The Illustrated London News — Herbert 
Ingram's work — ^The close of the Chronicle and birth of the Saturday 
Review — John Douglas Cook — A fiery editor — The Saturday re- 
viewers — Lord Salisbury among the journalists — The men who 
followed Cook — ^The Saturday's rivals — ^The Examiner under Fon- 
blanque and others — ^The Spectator — Its policy, past and present. 



CHAPTER X 

FROM FREDERICK GREENWOOD TO HENRY LABOUCHERE . 24I 

A new power — ^The evening press and its real founder — Frederick 
Greenwood's early course — Projection of the Pall Mall Gazette — 
Writers and writing that made the paper — The " Amateur Casual " — 
Greenwood's editorial methods and journalistic beliefs — Attempts to 
"nobble" the Pall Mall — Remarkable work in foreign and domestic 
affairs — Holt Whyte's memorable ride from Sedan — The union of 
literature and journalism — Foreign writers on the Pall Mall — Green- 
wood and his company "smoked out" — He establishes a rival St. 
James's Gazette — ^Further extension of the evening press — ^The West- 
minster Gazette and its founder — Sir George Newnes's newspaper 
career — Society journals and their creators — Edmund Yates — ^T. G. 
Bowles — GrenviUe Murray — Henry Labouchere. 

CHAPTER XI 

A GLADSTONIAN FORECAST FULFILLED . . . 266 

Gladstone on the Paper Duty's Repeal — Forerunners of the English 
cheap press — ^The first London halijpenny print — The founder of the 
Echo and his stafi' — The Morning Leader — Mr. T. P. O'Connor on 
platform and in press — The union of art and periodical literature — 
Rise of the great newspaper capitalists — ^The Harmsworths — Competi- 
tion with Tit-Bits — ^Work in extending the cheap press — Methods of 
the new journalism — All-embracing enterprise at home and abroad — 
The Harmsworths as pioneer colonists — ^Weeding out — Mr. Pearson 
in the Tit-Bits office — Striking out for himself — Among the great 
newspaper owners — The Lloyd press — Lloyds Weekly News — The 
Daily Chronicle anA its makers — The first illustrated "daily" — The 
Graphic's enterprise. 



16 CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XII 

PACE 

NEWSPAPER MAKERS OUT OF LONDON . . . 283 

In the provinces during the early nineteenth century — ^The " father of 
the English newspaper" among the local prints — Defoe starts the 
Edinburgh Courant — Its history — Rivalry with the Scotsman — Hard 
hitting — The passing of the Courant — Russel of the Scotsman — A 
North British Delane — Marks of public gratitude — C. A. Cooper, 
Russel's pupil and real successor — ^The Liverpool press — ^The United 
Kingdom's first penny "daily," the Liverpool Daily Post, and its 
makers — Other Liverpool journalists — Papers in Manchester — The 
battle that was never fought — Amusing attacks on Disraeli — " Orien- 
talising " Great Britain — A characteristic retort — Joseph Cowen of the 
Newcastle Chronicle — The Urquhart school of political thought — The 
newspaper in Yorkshire and Plymouth — Cut and thrust — Mortimer 
Collins — The first Plymouth "daily" and its founders — Edward 
Spender's enterprise — Unity of the press in town, country, and colony. 



CHAPTER XIII 

THE JOURNALIST IN IRELAND .... 305 

The Irishman in exile — American influence on the press across St. 
George's Channel — ^The Franco-Irish alliance— Young Ireland move- 
ment and its organ — Young hearts and hot heads on the Nation — John 
Mitchell starts the rival United Irishman, which is suppressed — 
Famous men of the Nation — Ireland's earliest " dailies " — Foundation 
of Freemati s Journal, 1763 — Amateurish writing — Some notable con- 
tributors — ^The Freeman of the present — Other South Ireland papers — 
Saunders' News Letter, the eminently "respectable" print, becomes 
Ireland's leading journal — ^An Irish newspaper king — ^The Murphy 
papers and their rivals — In the North — The Northern Whig — From 
press to parliamentary and official life. 



CHAPTER XIV 



THEN AND NOW IN FLEET STREET .... 

The journalist in social life — Upward struggle of the penny press — 
Friends of the country papers — Literary influences in the early Vic- 
torian press — ^Wben was the journalistic golden age ? — ^True significance 
of Delane's and others' " lionising " — The journalist still a cipher in 
party wire-pulling — Hard fate of budding writers in army and society 
— Wearing down the opposition — Then and now in the press — No 
real decline in the English newspaper — The pressman's relation to the 
public — The stormy petrel of contemporary history — Riding in the 
whirlwind — Disquieting effect on international relations — Expert 
opinion on newspaper influence 



322 



CONTENTS 17 

CHAPTER XV 

PAGE 

SUB-EDITOR : " THE VERY PULSE OF THE MACHINE " . 339 

Another side of journalistic life — ^Tbe sub-editor : his work, influence, 
and importance — Newspaper reputations made or marred in the sub- 
editorial columns — Characteristics of American sub-editing — Have 
editorials any real influence? — American reaction on the English 
press — ^The science of " writing up " as demonstrated by the Yankee 
— Humble imitators in England — ^Training the newspaper writer for 
his work — ^All roads lead to journalism — "Time's whirligig" — ^The 
press supplants the patron as literary critic and bread-giver — A 
modest offer of ten-guinea "leaders" has no taker — Nothing new 
under the sun — Newspaper runners and writers reflect all the forces 
which are the mainspring of the nation's life. 

INDEX 358 



Masters of 
English Journalism 



CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTORY 

Thackeray on the public and " newspaper rows " — Nineteenth-century changes 
caused by growing popular interest in the press — Increase in number of well- 
placed journalistic amateurs — The anonymous system on the decline — 
Nineteenth and twentieth century journalism contrasted — Modem newspaper 
millionaires directly descended from the originators of the English press — 
Ascendancy of the commercial aspect — Recent revolutions in the press caused 
by financial considerations — ^Work of the journalistic profession — The English 
newspaper the product of individual efforts — Ancient historical modes of in- 
fluencing public opinion — Greek substitutes for the modem pressmen — Tis, 
the drama, and the rhetoricians — ^Xenophon and Isocrates the first journalists 
— Julius Csesar and the Acta Diuma — Influence of the Roman satirists on 
contemporary thought — The oracles of Greece and Rome. 

" Our governor thinks the people don't mind a straw 
about these newspaper rows." Such, exactly sixty -two 
years ago, was the indifference to the inner life of the 
journalistic polity attributed by Thackeray's Pall Mall 
Gazette proprietor, Bungay, to the readers for whom he 
catered.' Disraeli showed a juster sense of the popular 
attraction with which the enterprise and interiors of Fleet 
Street had invested themselves, in a remark he made 
not long before his death. He was going through 
his last novel but one, published some dozen years 
earlier, and stppped at the passage where Hugo 
Bohun tells Lothair he should, as the " high mode 
for a swell," take a theatre. " If," the author paused to 
say, " I were writing this now, I should have put ' start 
or buy a newspaper.' " Even Thackeray lived long 

' Pendennis, i. p. 326 (1886 edition). 
19 



20 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

eiiough" to see journalism in a fair way, of becoming a 
pursuit for scribblers of quality, whert as yet there had 
been observed no sigjns that the properties and personages 
of Fleet Street might provide pastime or profit for 
professional millionaires of British or foreign growth. 
His particular friend Matthew Higlgins (Jacob Omnium) 
figured among the leaders of a movement which com- 
mended newspaper writing to the classes which looked 
dovra on newspaper hacks, but which now supplied the 
great editor J, T. Delane with some of his most 
accomplished as well as most select recruits. During! 
the Grey Reform Bill period, Thomas Mozley (was 
received from Oriel into Printing House Square. In 
1842 he was followed by another accession froin 
outside to the comity of journalism in the person of 
Frederick Rogers, eventually Lord Blachford ; he 
began by stipulating that his connection iwith the 
Times should be kept a secret. Throughout most of 
the nineteenth century the English newspaper remained 
at least in theory anonymojus. The editor's name 
was whispered with something! of almost religious awe, 
even among the few admitted into the secret of his 
identity. Wrapt in a cloud of mystery, the em(bodi- 
ment of the journalistic "we" had his daily interviews 
with ministers and ambassadors ; after these he first 
inspired and then revised the leading articles, in which 
what the newspaper said to-day the nation thought to- 
jnorrow. All this now belongs to the past. The entire 
thoroughfare between Ludgate Hill and Charing Cross 
is connected as by a whispering gallery with every point 
of social meeting in the capital, and, indeed, throughout 
the country. The collective expression of journalistic 
policy known as the '-' leader " has been extensively super- 
seded by the communication from the specialist or expert, 
vouched for by the signature of an individual. The 
processes, however, whose result is now described, are, 
as will hereafter be shown, only a consequence and a 
sign of the public's steadily grtowing occupation with' 
newspaper management, methods, and pers,onages. In 
all of these the end of the nineteenth and the beginning 
of the twentieth century witnessed a change so striking 
and complete as to have involved ari entire transforma- 
tion in every bbranch of Fleet Street's staple industry. 



INTRODUCTORY 21 

At the same time, amid all these innovations, there may 
be noticed a real consistency, with the Ertglish news- 
paper's earliest precedents. At every turn, conditioned 
only by the law of supply arid demand, each novelty 
successively introduced has been due to personal initia- 
tive and private enterprise. The policy and newspaper 
men in the twentieth century present many strong con- 
trasts to those of their predecessors in the Victoriari 
age. All this will be shown in detail on a later page. 
Here it is enough to point out that the capitalists, whether 
individuals or corporations, who, during the first decade 
of the present reigh, have acquired almost a monopoly 
of the newspaper press, are the lineal descendants of the 
resolute adventurers, literary or commercial, who began 
to create that press even before the fall of the Stuarts and 
the freedom of speech following on constitutional king- 
ship had made it possible quite to complete their work. 
The bookseller who in 1702 started the earliest of 
English daily papers was no more of a philanthropist 
or less indifferent to qur,ck money returns than the pub- 
lishers who in 1868, following' a provincial example, 
in the Echo endowed London with the earliest half- 
penny paper, not, however, before journals resembling] 
the Echo in size and cost had been established at Glas- 
gow, Liverpool, and other provincial capitals. The Echo 
was followed by a now forgotten innovation, the Penny 
a Week Country Daily Newspaper, a single issue of 
which cost only a farthing. The beginning of Mr. 
Gladstone's last premiership witnessed the appearance 
in the Leader of the first halfpenny morning paper on 
the Thames. The Daily Mail came four years later. 
Since then opportunities have abounded of comparing 
the purpose and the system most characteristic of the 
twentieth-century press with the conduct and the objects 
that distinguish the newspapers of a less enlightened 
age. The newspaper, it has been said, has been from 
the first a commercial undertaking. Its promoters, how- 
ever, often ha;d other motives, such as the support 
of a party, the advocacy of a cause. This involved 
the dissemination of arguments and articles calcu- 
lated to promote that end, not less than of news from 
every quarter. To-day political championship or attack 
is largely subordinated to improving the dividends of 



22 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

shareholders in the venture. With that end old- 
established journals are bought up to clear the way 
of rivals, new prints are started to anticipate attempts 
at occupying fresh territory. To collect and interpret 
news is the traditional business of a newspaper man, 
who to-day adventurously enlists each new agency for 
collection as it becomes known, but looks more and 
more to events for the interpretation. The popular 
interest in: riewspapers has at the present time been 
stimulated by the entirely novel kind of international 
ag'ency which they may constitute. The function now 
referred to is not merely the reaction of newspaper 
writing, conciliatory or aggressive, upon the sentiments 
or the politics of different countries. The London 
Iiistitute of Journalists has at least had the effect of 
triaking British and continental politicians better 
acquainted with each other.' Finally, in the summer of 
[1*909 the Imperial Press Conference formed probably 
the first occasion on which, in its corporate capacity, 
the newspaper profession, not only in the Mother Country 
but throughout the Anglo-Saxon world, was recognised 
by the sovereign, through his representatives, as at once 
an employment arid an interest whose opportunities, 
services, and aims placed its controllers almost on 
the same level with the men who directed his 
diplomacy, his armies, or his fleets. The method to 
be observed throughout these pages is prescribed by 
the most characteristic features of the subject. The 
English newspaper, in all its now familiar varieties, owes 
it^ existence, its form, and its authority to individual 
enterprise. Here, therefore, our concern is not with 
abstractions or generalities but with men. 

To what extent, it may as a preliminary be asked, 
did the originators of the English newspaper profit from 
the earliest examples of an older civilisation in other 
countries ? An answer to this question has been rendered 
possible by the wide learning* and happy insight of one 
who, as a member of J. T. Delane's famous staff, might, 
had he desired, have been not less successful in 
journalism than he was distinguished in scholarship. In 

' E.g. the recent interchange of hospitalities between those representing the 
English and the continental press. 



INTRODUCTORY 23 

th'e annual OratioM, June 28, 1884, of Harvard University, 
in the Sander's Theatre, the late Sir R. C. Jebb set him- 
self to answer the question whether the classical or a 
still earlier world, as regards the creation or direction 
of popular feeling, revealed any substitute for the 
influence, after centuries of struggle with interested 
prejudice and calculating opposition, at last won at 
the sword's point by the modern journalist. The 
newspaper man's motive power is public opinion.; he 
could, therefore, have had no precursor where, as in 
the East, that force did not assert itself. There the 
opinion of the nation normally meant the thought and 
performances of the king. As for these royal authors, 
the stone records accompanying their images or symbols 
still preserve their literary style, generally to this effect : 
-' He came up with chariots. He said that he was my 
first cousin. I impaled him, I am Artakhshatrd. I 
flayed his uncles, his brothers, and his cousins, I am 
the king, the son of Daryavash. I crucified two thousand 
of the principal inhabitants, I am the shining one, the 
great and the good." In the dawn of Greek civic life, 
the popular narrative supplied by the Homeric poems 
shows a national genius whose most marked traits con- 
stantly recur in the ripest age of the Greek republics . For 
Achilles and Ulysses always remained popular ideals. 
But in the political system of the Iliad there is as 
little place for public opinion as would be found under 
the ancient despots of the farthest East. Not only legis- 
lation but discussion is confined to the king in consulta- 
tion with his nobles and elders. So far the popular 
assembly is practically unknown- On the other hand, 
in the social life of the community public opinion is 
represented as constantly on the alert, shrewdly obser- 
vant of whatever is said or done, ever ready fearlessly 
to express itself with as much freedom as in a constitu- 
tional State. The chorus of the Attic stage has been said 
to convey the views of the ideally right-minded and well- 
informed spectator. The public opinion of the Homeric 
writings is personified in the indefinite pronoun Tis. 
The views and verdicts of the average man thus indi- 
cated are as little to be neglected in the domestic circle 
as in the market-place. The collective courage and 
wisdom of the army are in serious debate,; the low-born 



24 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Thersites', iwhose scurrilous tongue and mean persoH 
formed the index of a meaner mind, takes up his 
parable unasked,; Ulysses fetches the intruder a blow 
in the back which brings tears to his eyes and 
sends him back to his seat. Tis is delighted, 
and thinks that Thersites is not likely to try it on again. 
Elsewhere Tis appears in the similitude of Mrs. Grundy, 
mortally dreaded by the fair embodiment of girlish 
innocence, Nausicaa, because of the malignant construc- 
tion sure to be placed by Tis on her being in the 
company of a strange mani without any one to play 
'- gooseberry." The closest, as indeed nearly an exact, 
equivalent for the modern newspaper to be found in 
ancient Greece was the theatre, as it existed in the Attic 
capital. Many thousand Athenians swarmed to the per- 
formance of plays whose authors were Euripides, 
Sophocles, or yEschylus. Every one of these spectators 
was a member of the popular assembly. He therefore 
made his own contribution to, and exercised a distinct 
influence on, the decisions which determined the State 
policy at home and abroad. On the day following the 
theatrical performance the playgoer might be voting 
on an issue of peace or war. If not this, he might, in the 
law court, be taking his share in adjudicating on matters 
involving the principle of property or the structure of the 
social system itself. The newspaper writer of our day 
tells his readers whom or what to support ; he thus 
at least tries to influence the numbers of a parliamentary 
division or the course of a general election. The Attic 
dramatist had exactly the same opportunity ; he was 
not less prompt to use it. Thus in the Eumenides 
^schylus now exhorts his fellow-citizens that they should 
enforce their claim to certain disputed territory in the 
Troad, now makes a magnificent and irresistible appeal 
that they would allow no tampering with the powers of 
the Areopagus. Similarly two tragedies of Euripides, the 
HeracleiidcB and the Supplices, are traversed throughout 
by an instructive vein of unmistakable allusion to the 
political intrigues arising out of the Peloponnesian War. 
Indeed, all the writings of this dramatist abound in 
remarks, political, social, and moral, such as to-day would 
find a place in a newspaper leader, a monthly magazine, 
or a quarterly review. Descending to modern Europe, 



mTRODUCTORY 25 

pre-revolutionary France shows the tragic dramatist as 
the journalist's elder brother. Between 1694 and 1778 
freedom of the press was not more unknown in Paris than 
were the modem appliances of the printing office in 
the city of the violet crown. Even so late as this, 
though the newspaper indeed existed, its modern functions 
were still performed by the stage. On the eve of the 
French Revolution thunders of applause from the 
courtier audience in the theatre at Versailles greeted 
the lines : -' I am the son of Brutus, and bear 
graven on my heart the love of liberty and the 
horror of kings " ; and in his short history of French 
literature Mr. Saintsbury traces the popularity of 
Voltaire's tragedies generally to the adroitness with which 
he insinuates the popular opinions of the time. The 
closest analogy, however, to the journalist of modern 
times afforded by Athens of the fifth century B.C. is 
to be found in " the old comedy " known now from 
its greatest master, Aristophanes. Here is a writer who, 
before aspiring to stage representation, had studied the 
social and political conditions of his own time as patiently 
and profoundly as is done to-day by the best sort of 
newspaper men ; he redeemed the comic drama from' 
the reproach of scurrilous buffoonery, he brings upon the 
stage the men who are making the social or political 
history of the time, with the forces which they control 
or by which they may be overmastered. A Tory of the 
old school, he casts back many regretful glances on 
the old days before the demoralising sophists had been 
so successful with their pernicious teaching that a 
credulous democracy believed there might not after all 
be much difference between evil and good, falsehood 
and truth. Grote and Thirl wall are agreed in attributing 
slight influence on current political thought to Athenian 
comedy. That, upon the whole, may be true enough. 
The chosen home of Greek political satire, in the form 
of comedy, further resembled the English newspaper in 
basing its chief appeals to the public on the broadest 
principles of common humanity. "Die death struggle 
of Athens and Sparta was draining the resources and 
exhausting the patience of both when in the Acharnians 
Aristophanes satirised the Athenian " Pro-Boers " per- 
sonified by Dicaeopolis. Four years later, however, he 



26 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

chaHges his note to much practical purpose, and, at heart 
ever a hater of war, contribtited by his Peuce to biing 
about the truce effected by Nicias. In one place Aristo- 
phanes, indeed, with mingled satire and entreaty, sways 
his audience on the side of clemency towards those 
suspected of complicity in the revolution of the Four 
Hundred. He scrupulously avoids the chance of making 
political capital against the hated demagogues by pur- 
suing the contrast between the assured tranquillity, of the 
ancient order and the perilous turbulence of the new 
regime. What in modern phrase would be called the 
virtuous sympathies of the mob are the powers which 
larg'ely, in general terms, he tries above all to enlist on his 
own side . On the other hand, the Attic comedy, like the 
English newspaper, finds itself most effective when direct- 
ing public attention Hot to measures but to men. In nine- 
teenth, if not twentieth century England, cartoons like 
those of Sir John Tenniell or Sir F. C. Gould, and the 
best political writing by prose satirists in the weekly, 
journals have produced impressions closely akin to those 
that Aristophanes made it his business to create. 

But a nearer parallel even than the Athenian drama 
t6 the modem journalist was presented by the Attic 
precursor of the English pamphleteer. The rhetoricians, 
ready of tongue and easy of principle, in the fifth century 
B.C., made a livelihood by advocating any cause in the 
law courts, or supporting in the popular assembly the 
political party which paid them best. Within fourscore 
years of the Battle of Marathon, the ingenious Athenian 
who lived by his wits and his phrase -making found he 
had a better paymaster in the public which bought what 
he had written down than in those who hired him to 
argue for them in the assembly. When they relate to 
public affairs, such of these compositions as have come 
down to us are exposures of democratic folly and 
socialistic fallacies or are elaborate treatises on finance. 
Xenophon, the prototype of war correspondents, was also 
the earliest of Tory journalists.; as such he has left 
us some remarks on the Athenian polity, foreshadowing 
with curious closeness alike Gifford's diatribes against 
democracy in the Quarterly, and, in our own day, the 
Spectator's onslaughts upon the "new Whigs." The 
inen now spoken of were, at a very long distance, the 



INTRODUCTORY 27 

followers of Isocrates, who, both from his tongue and pen, 
has left us perfect models for the modem journalist or 
pamphleteer. His subjects, his treatment of them, and 
his whole tone of mind combined to make him the 
most essentially modern of Attic writers. His essays 
and addresses not only served as models in his own age 
and country. Since then, and throughout modern Europe, 
especially in England during the early period of our 
prose literature, they have been studied for patterns of 
construction and expression by the best writers for our 
newspaper press. Many among the most telling pieces 
of Isocrates are the shorter speeches which, never 
delivered nor intended for delivery, are in effect leading 
articles. As such they were widely read on their first 
appearance. They deal with all the topics of the day,; 
they are sometimes satirical descriptions of social 
degeneracy, sometimes stirring appeals to patriotic 
sentiment on behalf of a sagacious or spirited domestic 
and foreign policy. Here Isocratejs had a rival in another 
rhetorician, Alcidamas. All these men bore the pro- 
fessional name of rhetoricians, ; their appearances in the 
public assembly and the law courts gradually became 
m'ore infrequent till they entirely ceased, and the advocate 
or the orator merged himself altogether in the 
pamphleteer. This precedent supplied by classical 
Athens has become the familiar experience of our own 
Fleet Street. The barrister, weary of waiting for briefs 
that do not come, at last chiefly looks for business, not 
in Temple Chambers but in newspaper ofiSces. The 
rhetoricians were followed or rather overlapped by the 
sophists. " The sophists of modern life " is a well- 
known description of our own journalists, so far as these 
seek to influence public opinion in the columns of the 
weekly or daily paper. They are thus entirely distinct 
from the providers of the news on which the paper's policy 
is based. The want of constraining principles or deep 
convictions alleged, as Grote and others hold, unjustly 
against the Athenian sophist, has been found to have 
a parallel in the unscrupulous versatility of the English 
journalist. The resemblance does not go beyond the fact 
that the success both of the Greek sophist and the 
English journalist implies the same condition of un- 
licensed liberty in expression as in thoitght. High play. 



28 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

strong drink, general want of serious interest in life, 
and enervating self-indulgence of every kind seemed to 
Isocrates the growing curse of Athenian youth. These 
are the vices arid failings lashed by him with a severity 
that, more than two. thousand years afterwards, was to be 
emulated by the Dean of St. Patrick's in his Project 
for the Reformation of Manners under Queen Anne. 
Isocrates had many rivals, especially in his capacity of 
writer. The keenest competition was between himself 
and the already-mentioned Alcidamas, the point at issue 
in the literary war which aagaged these and others being 
whether or not Athenian patriotism should consent to 
the restoration of Messene's independence by the military 
power of Thebes. During the latter part of the fifth 
century B.C. great improvements took place in the 
methods of publication. Copies were multiplied with 
unprecedented rapidity and distributed, not only in a 
shorter time, but over a larger area than had ever been 
attempted before. Such conditions could not but result 
in a fresh encouragement to the Attic equivalent for 
journalism as a substitute for oratory. Athens, more- 
over, now possessed an exact forerunner of the journalist 
in one who had never gone through the stage of orator. 
This was the Athenian Tory squire, Xenophon, whose 
discourses on politics and finance from the strictly con- 
servative point of view, issuing in quick succession from 
his country house, exactly presaged the English pamphlet 
of the eighteenth century as the leading article's 
immediate predecessor. 

Classical Rome abounded in rhetorical schools and 
professors?; it possessed, at least in Tacitus and Sallust, 
two trained rhetoricians each of the material from which 
first-rate newspaper writers are made. Neither of them, 
however, has left us such genuine specimens of the 
leading article in its pamphlet stage as Xenophon 's 
shorter pieces. As a war correspondent, the Athenian 
Xenophon has his Roman successor in Julius Caesar. 
The author of the Commentaries, however, might also 
claim to be regarded as a newspaper man, not only 
because he was a great writer, but because he organised 
the earliest great news service which the world had theii 
seen. The Acta Diurna were begun at Julius Caesar's 
special order and under his personal supervision in his 



INTRODUCTORY 29 

first consulship in A.D. 6i. These records formed a 
daily chrcmicle, curiously full and interestingly niinute, of 
all that passed in the capital. Their circulation through- 
out the Latin world was arranged by the conqueror of 
Gaul with a thoaroughness that would have done credit 
to a modem press agency's manager. Mommsen, in 
his History of Rome, vol. iv. p. 607, reproaches Cicero 
with being essentially a journalist. Cicero, however, com- 
plained of the literary worthlessness of these Acta, and 
tells a correspondent who condenses their contents into 
his notepaper that what he wants are letters with some- 
thing worth reading about the course of events, and 
not a bald compilation. Compilatio in such a context 
might almost be translated •' newspaper." Of journalism, 
however, on its literary side, there was much less in the 
Italian than in the Hellenic capital. The third century, 
B.C. did indeed witness an attempt by the poet Naevius 
to reproduce the Greek comedy in his native city, but the 
Roman respect for authority and order would not tolerate 
a State personage being held up to ridicule on the 
pjublic stage. The plebeian Naevius produced his play 
to create a feeling against the usurpation of popular privi- 
leges or rights by the aristocratic senate. His satire 
seems to have been innocent even to tameness . It raised, 
however, no applause ; the caricatures of eminent indi- 
viduals which illustrated it fell fiat. The piece drew to 
its close amid such a storm of hisses that no revival of 
the old Greek comedy seems afterwards to have been 
tried. As an organ of popular opinion the one Roman 
equivalent to the Attic drama was the satire. In this 
kind of composition crude efforts had been made by, 
Naevius, who, attached to the Roman General Servilius; 
Geminus, had served as special correspondent during the 
first Punic War.' The earliest satirist to have much 
in common with the journalist is Lucilius ; the main 
objects of this fearlessly outspoken writer's attacks were 
the high-bom statesmen, who thought they could blunder 
with impunity and shelter themselves against criticism 
behind their rank. Next he has nothing but bitter 
contempt for the servile imitation by rich Italian parvenus 
of Greek modes in social manner, in literary expression, 

" See Professor Sellat's Roman Poets of the Republic, p. 55. 



30 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

and ill personal costume. This subject is also dealt with 
at greater length arid with deeper feeling by Persius, 
the last of the satirists, resembling in many respects 
Lucilius, the first, more than he resembles either Juvenal 
or Horace. Another classical agent for influencing 
opinion was common both to Greece and Rome. The 
oracle not only determined the actions both of communi- 
ties and individuals, but occasionally made itself felt 
as the organ of a political party j for did not the old 
Athenian nobility bribe the Delphian priests to publish 
responses insisting on the expulsion of Pisistratus ? And, 
indeed, upon topics of less momentous, of domestic as 
well as personal import, the oracular utterances 
judiciously edited by the priest presiding over the shrines 
presaged with tolerable accuracy, the " Answers to Cor- 
respondents " which have not yet quite gone out of 
fashion with some newspapers. So, too, even in our 
own day, letter -writers to the editor of the Times are 
but the oracle questioners of a later day. But enough 
has been said to show that the enterprise of individuals 
in the old classic civilisations effectively fulfilled functions 
broadly speaking comparable with those performed by a 
later product of individual ingenuity, courage, and re- 
source. This is the English newspaper of to-day. Its 
quickness in seeking and supplying information, its 
vigilant appositeness of comment, its electric sympathy of 
social feeling — many at least if not all of these qualities 
are now shown to have been active in the two most en- 
lightened capitals of ancient Europe from five to seven 
centuries before the Christian era. 



CHAPTER II 

THE JOURNALIST AND THE JOURNAL 

The journalist before the journal — ^A typical news-writer of the fifteenth century — 
War on the "unconscionable newsletter- writer " — ^The journalist displaces 
the jester — And is employed by the State — Nathaniel Butter's career — ^Three 
"fathers of the English newspaper" — John Birkenhead the royalist — 
Marchmont Nedham the parliamentarian and political chameleon — Right 
about face — Defiance of the press censorship — ^Another " sharp curve " — ^A 
Commonwealth man once more — Collapse of fortunes at the Restoration — 
Birkenhead's reappearance — Experiences during the Interregnum and after 
— He becomes press censor — Retirement — ^The third "father" — Roger 
L'Estrange's family — A loyal subject of the King — ^Work for the cause with 
sword and pen — Condemned to death — Reprieved — Renewal of literary 
labours — His opinions on licensing laws — Some ingenious suggestions — 
Promotion to the press censorship — Impudent formation of newspaper 
monopoly — Origin of the London Gazette, L'Estrange's only rival — His 
connection with the press cut short by the Revolution of 1688 — End of the 
press censorship — The first daily paper — Mallet's foreign news — His suc- 
cessor on the Courant — Samuel Buckley's enterprise — ^The coming of Defoe. 

That the journalist is older than the journal, and existed 
independently, of it, has been already shown by the 
instances taken from classical Athens and Rome. The 
same truth, it will now presently be seen, may be illus- 
trated from the experiences of mediaeval England. Before 
the invention of printing, in the fifteenth century, during 
the Wars of the Roses period, the precursor of the 
modem newspaper man is found in an indefatigable news 
collector and distributor named Fenn. A careful search 
of the Paston Letters fails to furnish any details about 
this notable forerunner of those who were eventually 
to assist in the foundation of the English press. Ben 
Jonson, however, in the Staple of News, and his con- 
temporary dramatists are profuse in their satirical carica- 
tures of those who, like Fenri, personified what, for the 
sake of brevity, may be called the journalistic enterprise 
of their period. Than Fenn there can have been no 

31 



32 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

better specimen of the newswriter, who in the fullness of 
time was to make way for the newspaper reporter. A 
pushing, fearless, irrepressible spectator, where that was 
possible, of events, he forced his way past sentries and 
warders, now by, mere pertinacity or bodily strength, 
now by persevering cajolery or some of the silver pieces 
carried in a leather girdle round his waist. On or near 
every battlefield, when he could not himself be there, 
he was represented by some of the numerous staff whom 
he had trained to observe accurately and report promptly. 
He had offices or correspondents in nearly every town 
and in most of the less obscure or inaccessible village 
centres. None but regular subscribers received the manu- 
script records, which he forwarded once a week or even 
oftener as opportunity served. Nor did he and his agents 
escape a process identical with that known in our own 
day as "nobbling the press." Experience had taught 
Fenn himself to see the newsletter -writer's best policy, 
in honesty, and the attempts of interested persons Jo 
secure the suppression of inconvenient details, or the 
publication of ex parte statements, seldom seem to have 
been successful with Fenn himself. The real dang;er 
was lest his employees should prove less incorruptible ; 
for the commodity in which Fenn dealt passed through 
many hands on its way from the responsible head of 
the business to the customer. By Ben Jonson's ■time 
the business had organised itself with a completeness 
unknown, of course, a century, or two before. In the 
already-mentioned Staple the chief personage bustles 
about amid surroundings which, for a long time both 
before and after this play had been witnessed, were 
those proper to the modern journalist's mediaeval equiva- 
lent, arid to his sub -editorial staff. The responsible 
purveyor of the newsletter sat in his own sanctum. In 
an outer room were his clerks docketing: and alphabetic- 
ally arranging the intelligence of all kinds as it poured in' 
from north, south, east, and west, sent by touts from the 
battlefield or by key -hole listeners at the council door. 
The name is as yet an anachronism ; but there exists 
official evidence of the sixteenth -century journalist having 
become an inconveniently active and all b;ut irrepressible 
person. He was, indeed, between 1485 arid 1 509, the sub- 
ject of a prohibitive proclamation by Henry VlII. For any 



JOURNALIST AND JOURNAL 33 

lasting result, the sovereign might as well have tried 
to check by a royal frown the Thames in its en- 
croachments on the Westminster shore. The " uncon- 
scionable newsletter -writer " not being one whom 
monarch or minister could suppress, it remained for 
them to make the best use of him they could. The 
reigns of the last Tudor and the first Stuart witnessed 
also the State recognition of the first journalist. The 
truth is that before the end of the seventeenth century 
the jester as the paid retainer of great fa:milies had gone 
out, and the journalist had come in. In Shakespeare's 
time persons of quality, sported their private theatres 
beneath their London or country roofs. A little later 
no household or individual of quality was complete with- 
out some literary Autolycus, always, wherever he might 
be, ready to snap up trifles, unconsidered and considered, 
as a preliminary to dishing them up readably for his 
patrons. Of this class the best known specimen appears 
in a certain Rowland White ; so successful was this fore- 
runner of " our own correspondent " in penetrating 
behind the scenes of social and political life, that a 
family no less considerable than the Penshurst Sidneys 
salaried him to send them, during their foreign travels, 
everything about divisions in the Council and intrigues 
at Court. Before the seventeenth century the newspaper 
man of the period received a striking tribute to his 
growing power. Queen Elizabeth had herself " tuned the 
pulpits." Her gteat minister began to inspire and doctor 
the newsletters for his own ends. The contemporary 
records with which Rowland White furnished the Sidneys 
helped to colour and shape the opinion on subjects of 
the day held by that noble family and their influential 
friends. Why not extend the process, and use the pro- 
fessional penmen generally, in the Government's interest? 
To put it differently, the existence of the journalist in 
embryo was a fact neither to be ignored nor unmade. 
He had not yet set up his presses ; none the less he 
coloured and created popular feeling about the home 
and especially the foreign policy of the Crown. In future 
Burleigh determined that these writers should take their 
cue from his office, and square the accounts they (sent 
out with his purposes. He began by trying his hand 
on Rowland White, but soon exchanged that obstinate 

3 



34 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

scribe for one more pliable and docile, whose name has 
not come down to us. 

In Ben Jonson's Staple of News one of Cymbal's 
staff is addressed as Nathaniel. The name would have 
had a familiar sound for the audience. To the seven- 
teenth-century public it conveyed the same kind of 
meaning as to modern ears might be done by the 
words Harms worth or Pearson. From the shadowy 
crowd of his fellow -craftsmen Butter stands out in strong 
and clear relief, not only as the most resourceful news 
collector and commentator of his period, but as one 
who, in advance of his colleagues or rivals, foresaw 
the journalistic possibility of the future and realised 
the proportions in which a judicious compound of 
authentic intelligence and sagacious criticism would make 
the newspaper a mighty leverage for influencing action 
and guiding thought. For that he saw there must be co- 
operation between the best minds concerned in a single 
enterprise. Hence his conception of a corporate policy, 
and his use for the first time of the editorial " wJe." 
So keen was his instinct of newspaper management and 
of the punctuality essential for its success that he again 
and again apologises in his broadsides for an uncer- 
tainty in his dates of issue, which he is sure posterity 
will mend.' Butter is a landmark rather than a per- 
sonage- ; he indicates the stage in the transition from' 
the newsletter -writer to the newspaper -writer ,; though 
he himself would be called a news pamphleteer more 
correctly than a newspaper man. This because his pro- 
ductions lacked continuity. Any event such as might 
to-day seem to warrant a special or extra special news- 
paper edition caused Butter to put forth a commemora- 
tive and not seldom a roughly illustrated sheet. After 
one of these specimens has seen the light, Butter draws 
his blinds and makes no sign till there happens some- 
thing else which he sees his way profitably to turn into 
copy. His real functions, however, were those, not of 
an editor nor even of descriptive reporter. He was 
rather a sub -editor on a great scale, fertile in resource, 

■ The Weekly News was Butter's favourite title for his prints, though the 
same style does not seem to have appeared in more than two or three con- 
secutively. In each case their external appearance resembled that of the 
ballads then hawked about the streets. 



JOURNALIST AND JOURNAL 35 

who not only knew but could create his opportunity, 
with a nose for news in unlikely places, as keen as that 
with which a trained dog scents truffles in a park whose 
owner has never dreamt of possessing such subterranean 
wealth. To literature he made no pretence ; he describes 
himself as a transcriber of books first, and as a printer 
afterwards. None the less he deserves a foremost place 
among the newspaper pioneers who shrunk neither from' 
danger, toil, nor expense in their trade of providing 
foreign news for the benefit of home-staying Englishmen. 
The business offices of Nathaniel Butter and his profes- 
sional brethren whether, like Bourne and Archer, his 
colleagues, or, like Newberry and Sheflard, his partners, 
seem to have been close to the Royal Exchange. This 
was the first structure of that name, built during Eliza- 
beth's reign in 1570, and lasting till the Great Fire of 
J 666. The entire district in the seventeenth century pre- 
ceded Fleet Street as a literary thoroughfare ; • the chief 
forerunners of Fleet Street newspaper personages between 
1620 and 1640 had their shops or offices at such spots 
within this area as Pope's Head Palace, Pope's Head 

' From Sir Walter Besant's London, at various dates during the fifteenth and 
eighteenth centuries it would seem there had begun the preparations for making 
Fleet Street pre-eminently a literary thoroughfare. The original booksellers' 
quarter was in St. Paul's Churchyard, Paternoster Row, Little Britain, and 
Moorfields. After the Great Fire (1666) the bookstalls and bookshops began to 
gravitate towards Fleet Street. The settlers here who did not sell books 
generally represented the licensed victualling interest. For more than two 
hundred years Fleet Street contained thirty-seven taverns. Most of these were 
approached by u. long passage or court. The oldest of these places were the 
" Marygold," the " Horn on the Hoop," the " Bolt in Tun," the " Black Lion," 
the "Devil," and the "Mitre." In 1787 the "Devil" was pulled down, and 
a row of houses, Child's Place, built on the site. About the same time the 
original " Mitre," approached by the alley called Cat and Fiddle Lane, made 
way for Hoare's Bank, which still occupies its exact ground. Between 1728 
and 1765 there had sprung up, close to where the Bank now is, a " Young Devil " 
tavern. Here throughout the period just mentioned the Society of Antiquaries 
held their yearly meeting, after which came an adjournment for dinner at the 
" Mitre." Fleet Street, moreover, had been fashionable or popular before 
it became literary. From 1558 to 1603 it had been the favourite haunt of 
showmen and their most modish customers, ready equally to admire the 
exhibition and the thoroughfare itself, picturesque with its many gable-ended 
houses, its decoration of quaint carvings, of plaster stamped in patterns, and the 
countless signs, glorious in their gilding or ornamented by strange devices, 
hanging above the shopfronts. 



36 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Alley, at the Sign of the Star, and under St. Peter'^ 
Church, Cornhill. Even at this early date the smaller 
sort of transcribers or printers found a grievance in 
the competition of capitalists who created a '' corner " 
in the news trade. These for a time occasionally con- 
trived to make the whole business their private monopoly. 
Under the Tudors Butter escaped molestation by the 
authorities ; he, however, suffered heavily from the 
severer press censorship of the Stuarts. Early in the 
reign of Charles I. (1639) he almost abandoned his 
occupation in despair. But he took heart of grace, 
and in 1640 a short relaxation of the licenser's tyranny 
revived his hope that he might still carry on his work. 
Yet a little later the State coercion proved too strong 
for the sanguine and courageous newsmonger. Butter 
could no longer observe a constant day every week with 
his subscribers, and in 1641 he and his broadsheets 
disappeared. Could Butter but have kept himself afloat 
a little longer, he might have been tided into the smooth 
waters of prosperity. Amongst the men who urged him 
to continue and placed their purses at his disposal were 
Sir Edward Bering, the first Sir Henry Vane, and John 
Pym. The good offices with the licenser of these and 
others had produced great results. During one or two 
years the press was practically free. But though the 
Long Parliament went some way towards making that 
free press an institution, it could not, when put to the 
test, save Butter. The newspaper man on the whole 
has owed as little to Whigs as to Tories ; Butter is the 
first instance of a journalist actively backed by the great 
political leaders of his time. 

The man who had done more than any other indi- 
vidual towards crushing out the early broadsheets was 
Archbishop Laud. By one of those strange ironies in 
which history abounds, with Laud's name now associates 
itself that of the man who, coming after Butter, is given by 
Isaac Disraeli a place among the triumvirate comprising 
the " fathers of the English newspaper." In this group 
John Birkenhead, though as regards years slightly the 
elder of the two, and Marchmont Nedham may be called 
contemporaries ; while Roger L'Estrange belongs alto- 
gether to a later date. Between 1643 and 1660 Birken- 
head and Nedham were by far the two most active and 



JOURNALIST AND JOURNAL 37 

notorious newspaper men then at work. Birkenhead's 
journalistic course received solutions in its continuity 
from which Nedham's was free. For this reason, as 
well as because of certain details in the matter of dates, 
it will be convenient to follow Nedham's progress before 
considering Birkenhead. At the same time the labours 
undertaken and the vicissitudes experienced by each of 
these men were so closely connected^ or reacted so 
visibly and immediately upon the fortunes and per- 
formances of the other, that the retrospects cannot be 
kept entirely distinct. Thus Birkenhead began as a writer 
in high favour at the palace. He founded, indeed, ^ 
royalist organ whose Latin title ' may be Englished as 
the Court Journal. Such principles were well suited 
to a paper whose conductor's antecedents were those 
of its founder,; for, while private secretary to Arch- 
bishop Laud, Birkenhead had become tolerably well 
acquainted with the daily roimd of life at St. James's 
and with the chief figures among the courtiers of White- 
hall. These never took him seriously ; but he had a 
pleasant turn for anecdote and epigram. The institu- 
tion of a licensed jester ceased to exist with Charles I. ; 
it had, in fact, begun to decay before that sovereign's 
death. The position of palace fool, thus empty, was now 
filled by the vivacious writer whose political faith was 
summed up in the divine right of kings to govern as 
they chose, and whoste loyalty to that principle remained 
unshaken through good and evil report. Birkenhead's 
success with the Court moved Nedham to try what might 
be made out of the general public. The People's Paper, ^ 
in Latin words to that effect, was the designation he 
chose for his venture. Kings and princes had in their 
pay literary hirelings condescending to purvey no intelli- 
gence except about foreign Courts, capitals, and the 
doings of great people beyond the four seas. Were 
the British masses at home, the sinews and the defence 
of the realm, to have no chronicler of their own ? Never, 
came the answer from Birkenhead's rival, should that be 
the case while pen, paper, and printing press remained 
at the disposal of Marchmont Nedham. Here, as that 
personage boasted of himself, was a true son of the 

' Mercurius Aulicus. 
° Mercurius Britannicus. 



38 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

people, untrained from infancy in those arts of duplicity 
which the Primate had taught his former private secre- 
tary, an honest plain dealer, with or without the pen 
in his hand, devoted heart and soul to the well-being 
of those masses from whom he himself had sprung. 
Unlike Birkenhead, he had never been associated with 
the multitude's oppressors in Church or State. Brought 
up from an early age to earn his living in an apothecary's 
shop or at a scrivener's desk, he was now henceforth 
to concentrate his energies upon the instruction and 
service of his countrymen through the printing press. 
These duties he began to fulfil by letting his patrons, 
high or low, enjoy the pleasure of seeing their friends 
abused in his columns as impartially as their enemies. 
Nedham's consciousness of his great abilities had been 
embittered by the treatment meted out to him first as a 
junior master at Merchant Taylor's, afterwards as a 
lawyer's clerk in Gray's Inn. His newspaper course, 
therefore, was that of an Ishmael, with a peri nibbed 
against every one. Infamous scurrilities, as all agreed 
to speak of them, were the literary commodities in which 
he dealt. Unmeasured abuse from every quarter and 
unbounded popularity went together. " A rascal whose 
ears ought to have been cropped long ago, and who 
would be too comfortably housed at Newgate." So said 
the guardians of public decency. On the other hand, 
the masses whose idol he had become hailed him as the 
" one man in this courtier -ridden country who with the 
knowledge combined the fearlessness and the literary 
faculty for describing courtiers and statesmen as they 
really were." Nedham's literary methods, for their most 
effective exercise, required the stimulus of personal 
hostility and resistance. Here he showed himself of the 
same temper as Defoe and Swift, as Cobbett, Fonblanque, 
and Jerrold. He found the opposition required for the 
exercise of his faculties in the Court journalist of the 
period, the already -mentioned Birkenhead. That Birken- 
head had made himself the champion of Charles was 
reason enough for Nedham's supporting Cromwell. 
Nedham's literary broadsides raked the remotest corners 
of the country. Enthusiastic Roundheads, with some 
little confusion of metaphors, applauded him as a Goliath 
of freedom, with for spear a pen that, by the side of 



JOURNALIST AND JOURNAL 39 

other pens, was as a bulrush to a weaver's beam. A 
free lance like Nedham, despising conviction as pedantry, 
and shunning principle and consistency as superstitions, 
could not but sooner or later unpardonably offend even 
Puritanism, whose foes he cudgelled. In 1647, therefore, 
Nedham ratted to the Crown. Personally introduced to 
the royal presence at Hampton Court, he humbly knelt 
before Charles I. to implore and to receive the King's 
pardon. Nedham now rounded on his old patrons and 
friends. No sneers at the airs and fashions of the 
cavaliers had been so effective as Nedham's. In a minute 
the tables were all turned, and the Royalists were con- 
vulsed with laughter at Nedham's pen and ink caricatures 
of Independent or Presbyterian ministers, first sending 
whole congregations to sleep by their homilies against 
the man of sin, droned out through their noses, and then 
finding their ministrations had had the effect of converting 
the adherents of Oliver into enthusiasts for the Stuarts. 
In all this, Nedham showed himself a type not only of 
the seventeenth-century newspaper man, but of the 
seventeenth -century politician as well. Both of these 
passed from king-worshipper to republican, and then, 
for a time at least, back again to royalist as by a 
natural process not of transformation but of development. 
Nedham's newspaper work was spread over some 
twenty years, from 1643 to 1660. Long before his 
death, in 1674, he had not only united in common 
detestation of himself all those whom at different times 
he had attacked or supported with his pen ; he left 
behind him a monument of his malignant activity more 
practical and permanent than any of his literary triumphs 
or defeats. This monument was nothing less than th6 
press censorship, which had been created in 1647 by 
the Commonwealth with the personal purpose of check- 
ing Nedham's intolerable license of abuse. Quick 
changes of his residence and of his printers enabled 
the resourceful Nedham to treat with contempt the 
restriction thus imposed on his craft. Number con- 
tinued to follow, number, or, to speak more correctly, 
pamphlet was succeeded by pamphlet in almost regular 
sequence till the date of the King's execution in 1649. 
A certain American editor, notorious for his warm support 
of the South during the Civil War, on the settlement 



40 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

of peace secured by a stroke of luck from the winning 
side a promise of some valuable advertisements for which 
he had been long fishing. The condition was his execution 
of a literary right about face. Would he accept 
the terms? To that question an immediate telegraphic 
answer must be sent. Quick as thought the wires flashed 
his reply : " It's a sharp curve, but I'll take it." Of 
that editor Marchmont Nedham showed himself the true 
prototype. This Proteus of the pen had successfully 
eluded or defied the office of whose establishment his 
own versatility of universal vituperation had been the 
cause. He next proceeded to show that so far as con- 
cerned himself, the censorship, always futile, had become 
unnecessary. In the long run, he shrewdly saw, the 
Parliament must win. The services, therefore, which he 
had placed at the feet of Charles, he now tendered to 
Oliver. Monarchy or Republic, Protector or King, it 
was all one to this father of the press, by comparison 
with whom the eel was adhesive and the British climate 
constant. The Restoration became inevitable. Nedham, 
scenting it from afar, looked up the royalist plumes 
he had so long laid aside, and polished up the epigrams 
and periods which had delighted the satellites of Charles I . 
He had now become a European personage. Losing 
his London employment after Oliver Cromwell's death, 
he retired to Holland for a short time, though long 
enough for the citizens of Amsterdam to become familiar 
with his " tall, gaunt figure, perpetually stooping from 
shortness of sight, his hook nose, and the two rings 
' dangling from his pierced ears when not in pawn ' " ; 
before, however, Nedham had obtained any Dutch 
celebrity, Charles II. had recrossed the Channel for 
England. The one regicide lightly dealt with by the 
re-established prince was Marten: : " One cannot send 
such a scamp as Harry to the block." Marchmont 
Nedham certainly had as good a claim to the King's 
description as Marten himself. The royal hero, how- 
ever, of Monk's coup d'itai did not throw away a thought 
on the journalist, who, having boxed the compass of 
time-serving perfidy, now found his life to all appear- 
ance scarcely worth a week's purchase. Still he con- 
trived to scrape together as much money as secured him 
backstairs interest enough to obtain a pardon under the 



JOURNALIST AND JOURNAL 41 

Great Seal for his past assaults upon the monarchy. 
As a periodical writer Nedham found his occupation 
gone. Fortunately for himself, and unlike many of the 
same calling after, if not before, his day, he had studied 
medicine as well as English composition in his youth. 
The spirit of practice returned to him now, and he 
soon succeeded in securing patients enough to keep him 
comfortably till his death. 

Nedham brought his journalistic calling, as well as 
himself, into favour with the smart society which beg'an 
under the Restoration. Among the newspaper men that 
followed in his steps were Giles Dury, of whom nothing 
is known beyond his name, and Henry Muddiman, who 
figures in the pages of Pepys as something of a scholar 
and a good deal more of a scamp. After Nedham, 
however, the most considerable person in the seven- 
teenth -century newspaper system was undoubtedly his 
contemporary and rival Birkenhead. Nedham's connec- 
tion with the official press of his period lasted through 
the Commonwealth ; that press, at the Restoration of 
1660, became of course royalist. The highest position 
on it naturally, therefore, now fell to Birkenhead. In 
comparison with Nedham, Birkenhead was and had 
always been a pattern of propriety in print, and a model 
of uncalculating firmness in politics. These qualities 
were recognised and rewarded by Charles I., who com- 
pelled the University of Oxford to make the man possess- 
ing them a D.C.L. and to accept him as professor of 
modem philosophy. His academic connection was only 
short-lived. In 1648 Birkenhead was first ejected from 
his chair and afterwards deprived of his All Souls' fellow- 
ship by the Presbyterians. At the age of thirty -three 
he was thrown loose upon the world. Penniless, but 
still adhering to the monarchy, he took his way from 
the Isis to the Thames. Persistent refusals to prostitute 
his pen in defence of republican usurpation kept him 
in dire poverty and often brought him to jail. He 
could, however, turn himself to any kind of literary 
composition!; he contrived to pick up a precarious liveli- 
hood by writing for young gallants about town '-' sonnets 
to their mistress's eyebrow," which they passed off as 
their own, by helping the same customers with their 
love-letters, or by now and then doing any odds and 



42 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

ends of translation he could get from the booksellers. 
Personally Birkenhead was more ill-favoured than 
Nedham, and without the fashionable vogue which 
Nedham sometimes enjoyed ; his manners were not win- 
ning, his presence lacked dignity, his snub nose compared 
disadvantageously with Nedham 's eagle beak, his 
irregular features were unrelieved by any agreeable ex- 
pression, and his eyes seemed to revolve in their sockets 
as on a swivel. He was charged, and perhaps truly, 
with forgetting in his prosperity those who had stood 
his friends at his sorest need. In that age of short- 
lived political dispensations, of sudden revolutions and 
counter-revolutions, of precarious patronage and skin- 
deep loyalty, the only form of gratitude, practicable or 
known, was that represented by a lively sense of favours 
to come. The only men who took life seriously were 
a few theologians or recluses. Birkenhead never made 
any pretence to religion ; he was compelled by his daily 
necessities to live in not the most reputable section of 
the bustling world. But cynicism prevented his being 
a hypocrite ; loyalty to the Crown always raised him 
above the charge of time-server. If he did not, there- 
fore, often rise above the moral standards of his period, 
he seldom fell below them ; while in not a few respects 
he set his contemporaries an example which it would 
have been to their credit to follow. As a writer he 
magnified his apostleship, and reflected credit on his 
craft. He seldom wrote a paragraph which had not in 
it something of the quality that tends to bridge over the 
void separating journalism from literature. He had found 
time for wide reading, as well as for its careful digestion ; 
he knew how to give an epigrammatic ring to the few 
sentences of comment which served for links connecting 
the paragraphs of news. He was absolutely the earliest 
to reflect in his writings the diction that had then begun 
to mark the debates in Parliament. John Eliot had 
died in 1632 ; John Pym lived on till eleven years after- 
wards. Both men before they passed away had the 
satisfaction of seeing their respective parliamentary styles, 
in their origin Greek rather than Latin, become the 
accepted models of oratory at St. Stephens. Their terse, 
telling, crisp, well -poised sentences, emphasised by adroit 
antithesis that never expanded itself into verbal conceit. 



JOURNALIST AND JOURNAL 43 

have influenced the language used by speakers at West- 
minster from that day to this. In the middle of the 
nineteenth century, the most telling political articles in 
the Times had often something of a PaJpaerstonian echo in 
their phrasing and their argument. Those who, after 
following an important debate at St. Stephens, skimmed 
what Birkenhead might have to say about the incidents 
of the hour, often seemed to hear the reverberations of 
sentences and sentiments to which they had listened a few 
days or hours before in the long, narrow, dimly -lit 
chamber where the people's representatives then trans- 
acted their affairs. In addition to the University dis- 
tinctions secured for him by the first Charles^ Birkenhead 
had been the earliest newspaper man, as, in the four- 
teenth century, Chaucer had been the first poet, to become 
a member of the House of Commons. Under Charles II. 
journalism afforded a means of living scarcely less un- 
certain than ballad -monger ing ; these, indeed, were sister 
employments, for the latest intelligence was hawked about 
the streets by the newsvendors quite as often in the form 
of the doggerel rhymes which easily fixed themselves in 
the popular memory as on the prose broadsides contain- 
ing the germ alike of the pamphlet and the leader. 
The prudent Birkenhead, therefore, after two years' experi- 
ence of St. Stephens, and, at the same time, of the press 
censorship, retired from public life on a knighthood and 
the Mastership of Requests. This, in addition to a snug 
salary, gave him unlimited perquisites. On the whole, 
therefore, this founder of the newspaper system made a 
tolerably good thing out of paper and ink. His Govern- 
ment post enabled him to dispense with any further 
share either in the active production or in the control 
of news sheets. 

His successor in the licensing office was the third 
member of Isaac Disraeli's journalistic trio. Roger 
L'Estrange is the earliest known instance of a man born 
to aristocratic, wealthy connections deliberately making 
periodical literature his career. Of the old and at times 
opulent family to which he belonged, one branch had 
settled in Ireland ; the other for generations was identi- 
fied 'with Norfolk. Both lines of this house on either 
side of St. George's Channel are still flourishing to-day. 
The East Anglian L 'Estranges had always stood for 



44 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

the King. Roger himself, while little more than a boy, 
had received a cornet's commission in Rupert's Horse. 
He was thus destined to form an early instance of the 
union between sword and pen, subsequently so con- 
spicuous and fruitful in our periodical literature. From 
a promising cavalry officer, after the wreck of the Cavalier 
fortunes at Dunbar, as a writer he displayed to the 
fallen cause the same intrepidity which he had shown 
in his soldiering days, and a devotion, heart, soul, and 
conscience, not less unswerving than that given by 
Birkenhead, as well as far more active. The end justified 
the means. No stratagem or falsehood was to be stuck 
at if only it might lure' the Roundheads to their ruin. 
Born at Hunstanton (1616), he knew every nook and 
corner ,of the coimtry between that and King's Lynn. 
This latter town, in the preceding century the scene of 
Ket's rebellion, had in 1643 been taken by the Parlia- 
ment from the King. The next year Roger L'Estrange 
organised, and was preparing in person to lead, a con- 
spiracy for its restoration to the Royalists, when his 
seizure by a Puritan sentry brought him to trial for 
high treason, followed by a sentence to the block. That 
doom was commuted to four years' imf)risonment in 
Newgate. On his release he went abroad. The year 
which saw Charles II. established at St. James's Palace 
restored L'Estrange to Fleet Street. In 1663 he took 
the opportunity of impressing the sovereign with the 
power for good or evil exercised by the profession to 
which he belonged, as well as of his own personal 
capacity for making the newspaper writer a security 
instead of a danger to the throne. In a clever, shame- 
less, and slashing composition he set before the King 
the perils threatening him and his House from the 
impunity given to journalistic licence. The sovereign, 
he said, would not be settled or safe on his throne till 
there had been fitted to treasonable and seditious 
pamphleteers a bridle more severe than they had yet 
been made to feel. Should his Highness inquire as to a 
man apt for such a task, the writer, though painfully 
conscious of an undue disposition towards lenity in him- 
self, might by the Court's favour find the energies that 
the business required. The Licensing Act of 1662 was, 
L'Estrange admitted, admirable in its design. Its feeble 



JOURNALIST AND JOURNAL 45 

administration made it, however, almost a dead letter. 
Every one, he continued, knew the late rebellion to have 
been actuated by hypocrisy, scandal, malice, error, and 
illusion. The spirit of all these abominations had still 
to be crushed out ; it was now working not only by the 
same means, but in many cases by the same individuals. 
To exorcise this demon a short way must be taken with 
all concerned in producing or selling the printed infamies 
which were a foul shame to literature and a dire menace 
to the Crown. The offenders included joiners that 
set up presses, stitchers, binders, stationers, hackney 
coachmen, and mariners concerned in their circulation. 
Not that he would err on the side of excessive severity. 
Sometimes he would not enforce the death penalty, but 
would allow for its substitute mutilation, lifelong im- 
prisonment or exile, corporal pains, disgrace, pecuniary 
mulcts. As regards humbler accomplices in the crime, 
the Mercury women and children who hawked the peccant 
prints, he would be so lenient as to insist on nothing 
more than their wearing some visible mark of ignominy, 
a halter instead of a hatband, headgear stamped with 
some leg'end of infamy, or a stocking of different colourn 
on each foot. The ingenuity of these suggestions tickled 
the fancy of the careless but ready-witted and not un- 
kindly King ; it was, he at once saw, only a little piece 
of self-advertisement on L'Estrange's part. " We will," 
he characteristically said, " give the dog what he wants." 
The warrant was accordingly prepared. Within a few 
months of his having satisfied his conscience by warning 
the Court of its snares and pitfalls, L 'Estrange became 
supreme licenser of all printed matter, with plenary 
authority to search the premises of any suspect writer 
or printer. L'Estrange discharged his duties in the 
true spirit of the bravo and the bully, who was the 
social and political commonplace of the Restoration. 
This also was the temper which had personified itself 
in the palace ruffians who slit the noses and broke the 
bones of M.P.'s like Sir John Coventry if they pre- 
sumed to reflect on the escapades or the money necessities 
of the King. L'Estrange's official corruption and ferocity 
combined made his position and himself names of dis- 
grace and dread to all law-abiding citizens and to all 
respectable Cavaliers. The murderer of a child's two 



46 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

parents, who does not absolutely starve the orphan to 
death, may call himself the father of the fatherless. 
Only in some such sense as this does there belong to 
L'Estrange the patriarchal relation allotted to him by 
Disraeli to the English newspaper. L'Estrange first used 
his official opportunities to crush all existing prints out 
of existence. In their place he started his own broad- 
sheets ; some of these were made up of news without 
comment, others consisted of comment without news. 
Whichever they^ might be, they constituted the only 
records of the world's history from day to day or week 
to week legally sanctioned in the greater portion of 
the reign of the second Charles. This despotic and 
shameless newspaper monopolist was not, however, with- 
out some of the journalist's most essential qualities. 
Even under his royal patron, L'Estrange's authority ex- 
perienced occasional checks from Court caprice. In the 
autumn of 1665 the plague had sent Charles and his 
retainers to Oxford. " Odd's fish," exclaimed the 
monarch, "there are no newspapers here. If we are 
not to be cut off from all the world we must have one, 
and if we import L'Estrange's from London we phall 
bring the plague here with them." Hence the founda- 
tion by the University printer, Leonard Litchfield, of 
the still existing Oxford Gazette. But the fashionable 
newspaper public liked to read on th'e Thames what 
their crowned chief had served up to him on the Isis. 
For the benefit of such readers, an old Commonwealth 
printer, Thomas Newcombe, was allowed to reproduce 
in London the sheets published for the royal exiles at 
Oxford. L'Estrange was furious at this interference with 
his prerogative,; without reference to the King, under 
the shadow of Christ Church dome, he set up a rival 
to the Oxford Gazette. The Court, however, continued 
patronising the local print that had been started for its 
convenience. The plague had cleared off, the King 
returned to Whitehall. In his train there followed one 
or two Oxonians whose cleverness with their pens had 
recommended them to Charles— among them' a certain 
fellow of Oriel named Perrot. This importation from 
the Isis to the Thames was the earliest precursor of 
the innumerable cases in which since then Oxford 
dons have, like Thomas Mozley, exchanged the calm 



JOURNALIST AND JOURNAL 47 

irresponsibility of college chambers for daily or 
nightly attendance at London editorial rooms. As for 
L'Estrange, he soon died out of periodical literature. 
On being removed to the capital, the Oxford Gazette 
became the London Gazette. L'Estrange, however, had 
nothing to do with it ; indeed, he entered into competi- 
tion with it. As good a classical training as his age 
and his exceptional advantages of station could supply 
had not made L'Estrange a man of letters or even trained 
him to a correct taste. He could express himself clearly 
or forcibly enough with an idiom which owed much of 
its raciness and vigour to the free use of contemporary 
slang. He had, however, in the first instance, taken to 
journalism as a trade. In 1675 he met the London 
Gazette of his former Tory associates and royalist patrons 
with a trade organ of his own, issued from an office^ 
in Holbom i, ; there was no attempt at literature here ; 
it was all commerce, consisting' chiefly or entirely of 
business matters, in its lighter columns presenting some- 
thing like a presage of the twentieth -century Exchange 
and Mart. This combination of shrewdness and resource 
kept L'Estrange afloat throughout the Stuart period, and 
even enabled him to feather his nest. He had so 
used the licensing power as to extinguish every one 
of his smaller rivals. The London Gazette, being the 
official organ, could not be snuffed out. It was, how- 
ever, the only other journal, except his own City Mer- 
cury, in which Londoners read the news of their time 
during the six years that separated the founding of 
L 'Estrange 's Mercury from that of the paper by which 
he is best known, the Observator. This latter print 
survived till the Revolution of 1688, when L'Estrange 
finally disappeared, and the licenser's office, now doomed 
and already indeed practically obsolete, was given by 
William III. to a laborious and learned literary drudge, 
known as Catalogue Eraser. With the press censorship 
L'Estrange was the last man of great notoriety to be 
associated. The appointment itself continued to be made 
so late as 1695. By this time its prerogative bad 
become obsolete. The position ceased to exist by the 
simple process of no fresh nomination to it being made. 
The earliest quarter of London to be appropriated by 

" The City Mercury. 



48 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

the newspaper men appears from the experiences of 
Nathaniel Butter to have been the district near the Royal 
Exchange. Two generations passed. The centre of 
journalistic gravity shifted towards the thoroughfare 
which in Samuel Johnson's day custom had allotted to 
newspaper enterprise. Close to the site of the existing 
Times offices, and, as the place was then described, next 
door to the King's Arms Tavern at Fleet Bridge, three 
days after Queen Anne's accession, Edward Mallet set 
up his presses for the Daily Courant. The man himself 
has been variously described as coming of a well-known 
Somersetshire family of his name and as connected with 
the same foreign stock whence sprang the Mallet Du 
Pan that, visiting England during the French Revolu- 
tionary epoch, founded a family whose members still 
supply the Crown with accomplished servants. The 
Mallet who in 1702 g'ave London its earliest daily journal 
lacked the advantage of birth and education possessed 
by some of his newspaper predecessors, notably 
L'Estrange. As a stationer's and printer's son, bred to 
his father's business and inheriting his father's plant, 
he came from the class which, in the person of Mallet's 
greatest contemporary, Daniel Defoe^ produced the man 
who, by his force of character, courage, and literary 
faculty combined, first endowed English journalism with 
its tradition of intellectual distinction, of social and 
political power. A great newspaper figure of the nine- 
teenth century, to whom due space will be given here- 
after, Frederick Greenwood, was wont to emphasise 
during his editorial career the paramount importance 
to the public of publishing foreign intelligence with as 
little accompaniment as possible of personal bias on the 
correspondent's part. More than a hundred and fifty 
years before Greenwood's time. Mallet had recognised 
the same necessity, and had done his best to fulfil 
the conditions on which he insisted. Occurrences 
and feeling abroad formed the staple of the single 
folio page that formed the eighteenth-century pro- 
genitor of the daily newspaper press. No pretence of 
private information would. Mallet declared, tempt him 
to " impose feigned circumstances " on his accounts of 
events ; he would abstain from comments or conjec- 
tures of his own, would relate only matters of fact. 



JOURNALIST AND JOURNAL 49 

crediting his readers with sense enough to make reflec- 
tions for themselves. This was a hit at those who, 
like Defoe and Tutchin among the Whigs, or, on the 
Tory side, writers of smaller calibre and less notoriety, 
than these, had not only introduced the leading article 
into their respective columns, but who had acquired the 
art of exploiting or doctoring their news in the interest 
of the faction or the party they desired to help, as well 
as, it might be, of illustrating and confirming the views 
and arguments set forth in their literary columns. 
Mallet's energies or capital soon began to fail. He 
would, indeed, scarcely have brought his paper to the 
close of its first year without assistance derived from 
another pushing' and prosperous member of his own craft. 
This was Samuel Buckley. At the sign of the Dolphin 
in Little Britain, he carried on a perfect manufactory 
of literary wares, issued at tolerably fixed intervals, to 
suit all tastes of the rapidly growing public. With his 
capacities for various departments of literary trade he 
united an accomplished and effective pen. He pos- 
sessed also an acquaintance with foreign languages, 
probably at this time almost unique in accuracy and 
range. Nearly all his work was done by himself. He 
was his own news collector, editor, chief writer, as well 
as on an emergency not only publisher but printer. No 
country in those days had a greater wealth of newspapers 
than Holland, whose capital was then one of the chief 
diplomatic centres in Europe. Buckley, however, did 
not trust entirely to the Dutch journals for his cosmopo- 
litan intelligence. He had gained for himself the entree 
of the British Embassy at the Hague . Among his regular 
correspondents were the political, financial, and social 
wirepullers of Amsterdam. One of his chief features 
was a daily letter from the French capital ; this was 
manufactured out of the shapeless paragraphs, though 
containing all he wanted, in the Paris Gazette. The 
development of his enterprises proceeded without a check. 
The number of newspapers he successively acquired made 
him the predecessor of the journalistic pluralists of our 
own time. The Daily Courant was brought out by 
Buckley till 17 14, when his acquisition of the London 
Gazette, requiring all his attention, brought the Daily 
Courant to an end. The best proof of Buckley's excep- 

4 



50 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

tional capacities in all departments of his business was 
that, in 171 1, Addison first consulted him about his 
Spectator, and then decided that at any cost he must be 
secured for its publisher. But incomparably the greatest 
of Mallet's contemporaries was Daniel Defoe. He, 
rather than any of those already mentioned, was the real 
creator of the English newspaper. His career, his work, 
and its lasting results, of various kinds will be considered 
in the next chapter. 



CHAPTER III 

THE FATHERS OF JOURNALISM, FROM DEFOE TO ADDISON 

Defoe's contemporaries — ^John Tutchin, an early press martyr — John Dunton — 
Daniel Defoe's childhood — " No Popery ! " — Joins the Monmouth rebellion 
— Flight from England — Foreign travels — Return — Commencement of long 
term of political, personal, and domestic solitude — Failure of business and 
settlement at Bristol — Publication of the Essay on Projects — Improving 
fortunes — The foremost political writer of the day — The Legion Memorial 
— True-Bom Englishman — Defence of William III. ^Reception of the 
Shortest Way with Dissenters — Establishment of the Review of the Affairs 
of State — A forerunner of the Spectator Club — Defoe the favourite of Court 
and people — Work for the Union of England and Scotland — Imprisonment 
for his Shortest Way — Release — Political labours — New features in his 
broadsides — The Review's share in the Tory defeat ol 1 70S — ^^e Ox 
Addison — Politics before literature — Evolution of the ' ' leader" — A prosperous 
newspaper man — Satire on journalistic romancing — Steele receives the 
mantle of Defoe — The journalist and the tavern — Steele and Addison con- 
trasted — Individual publications — The quarrel — Addison's death — Influence 
of the two men on contemporary thought and literature. 

UnapproacHED by any of his contemporaries as regards 
the magnitude of his work, the varieid, the far-reaching 
vitahty of his influence, the strength and keenness of per- 
ception which he showed in estimating the English news- 
paper's future possibilities, as well as in the genius that 
enabled him to divine the literary requirements of the 
multitude and of the age, Daniel Defoe was the master 
spirit of a vocation and a period that produced several 
men, alternately his colleagues or opponents, all, indeed, 
of smaller calibre than himself, yet not without personal 
importance, entitling them to notice here. The most 
prominent amongst these, John Tutchin, differed in 
politics almost as much as did Daniel Defoe from Roger 
L'Estrange. Yet he may in a sense be called L'Estrange's 
successor, because Tutchin's Observator, exactly coeval 
with Mallet's Daily Courant, revived the title of 
L'Estrange's best known newspaper. That, however, was 

51 



52 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

not the broadsheet whose conduct, by its bold assertion 
of English liberties, secured for Tutchin the imprison- 
ment, the public whippings, and the mutilations entitling 
him to a place among the earliest newspaper martyrs. 
Tutchin may or may not have been as impracticable 
and quarrelsome as Defoe represents him. He did, how- 
ever, for choice, fish in troubled waters ; he was per- 
petually flinging down challenges, and indiscriminately 
to friends and foes alike belonging to his own craft. 
Defoe's known admiration for William III. sufficed to 
inspire Tutchin's assault upon that prince in The 
Foreigners. This composition in turn produced Defoe's 
reply. The True Born Englishman, a string of rhymes 
that, without pretending to be poetry, caught the popular 
ear by its jingle, and reminded its readers, who comprised 
the entire nation, of the degree to which British glories 
came from our being the most variously mixed race 
in the world. Another writer of this epoch, alternately 
Defoe's associate and opponent, was John Dunton, notice- 
able here if only because he foresaw and practically 
encouraged a newspaper tendency which had set in even 
then, which has continued ever since, and which was 
never more marked than at the present hour. In other 
words, he was the first to notice and to help forward 
the growing assimilation by the daily newspaper of the 
most attractive and therefore profitable features pre- 
viously regarded as exclusively proper to literary mis- 
cellanies having for their object less current information 
than general entertainment. Here at one and the same 
time Dunton not only rendered the sincerest form of 
flattery, imitation, to Defoe, who, as will presently be 
seen, was adopting an exactly similar course during the 
same period, but was also profiting by the ideas with 
which Steele's creative genius fertilised the mental soil 
of English journalists — of none more so than his most 
illustrious colleague, Addison himself.' Never rivalling 

' The journalistic relations of these two men are examined in a later page. 
Here it is enough to say that Steele undoubtedly surpassed Addison in what 
would be recognised to-day as the essentially journalistic instinct, and especially 
in journalistic mechanism, suggesting, as undoubtedly to Addison he did, the 
whole notion of the Spectator Club, of Sir Roger de Coverley, and of other 
characters (cf. Mr. Austin Dobson on Steele in the Dictionary of National 
Biography). 



DEFOE TO ADDISON 53 

Defoe or perhaps even Tutchin, he still founded a news- 
paper tradition, and, at least better than most of his day, 
understood the secret of magazining as a department in 
the periodical writer's trade. 

The modern journalist's true progenitor, Daniel Defoe, 
was in all things the genuine product of his period. 
He passed through youth to manhood amid popular inci- 
dents of mutual contrast more striking and significant 
than perhaps had ever jostled each other during a single 
reign before. Within the palace the rule of the " saints " 
had been succeeded by the dispensation of gamesters, 
harlots, and pimps. Outside no one could be a good 
subject unless he was a bad Protestant. Three thousand 
Evangelical clergymen of the National Church were 
turned out of their livings in a single day, and sent 
penniless upon the world, in no case for any other offence 
than the refusal actively to promote or mutely to accept 
the reversal of the religious and political settlement 
growing out of the Reformation, or to make them- 
selves the tools of the Popish Court, whose head, as 
Charles II. put it, had now discovered that not only 
Presbyterianism but Protestantism also was no fit religion 
for a gentleman. A true-born son of the people, Daniel 
Defoe was fortunate in his father. This well-to-do 
Cripplegate butcher, a wise, grave, devout man, from 
the educational work accomplished in Scotland by John 
Knox, had learned to appreciate the acquisition of know- 
ledge at its true value ; he spared, therefore, neither time 
nor money to give his son the very best schooling within 
a London citizen's reach. In after years Daniel was 
taunted by his literary rivals, Browne and Tutchin, with 
his meagre and mean Dissenter's book-learning. Filial 
gratitude and Presb)^erian pride were united in his reply . 
Granted he was not qualified to match with Dr. Browne 
the accurate, or Mr. Tutchin the learned ; if he were 
a blockhead it was nobody's fault but his own. As a 
fact his father had placed and kept him at the best 
school of his day. That was the Newington Green 
Academy, conducted by a famous Oxford graduate, 
Charles Morton, who, afterwards driven across the 
Atlantic for religious heterodoxy, became Vice-President 
of Harvard in New England. Under Mr. Morton he had 
learned in theology something more than the mere rudi- 



54 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

ments, had been even grounded in mathematics, natural 
philosophy, logic, moral, mental, and political science. In 
addition to Latin and Greek, Defoe had mastered French 
and Italian. There was also another tongue not generally 
taught at our colleges or universities. This was 
English, in which Morton had made him perform all 
his declaimings and dissertations. To such a pupil no 
training could have been more exactly suited. Not till 
long after he had laid the literary foundation-stone of the 
English newspaper and won national fame as a journalist 
did Defoe perhaps do full justice to his early training. 
Between the years 17 19 and 1722, after, that is, he had 
passed his sixtieth birthday, Defoe wrote Memoirs pf 
a Cavalier, History of the Plague, and his masterpiece, 
Robinson Crusoe. To the literary grounding, above all 
to the intellectual discipline, and to the habits of accurate 
observation brought by him away from the Newington 
Green school, scarcely less than to his native genius, 
was Defoe indebted for his power of making the things 
that were not seem as if they were, and of setting forth 
the pictures, the personages, and events of his own 
imagining with a verisimilitude which caused Samuel 
Johnson to mistake Defoe's accounts of the Parliamentary 
wars and of the Plague for the original documents of 
history. In one language, Defoe admitted he had 
attained no proficiency. This was the vernacular of 
Billingsgate, of which his revilers, Tutchin and Jonathan 
Swift, showed such command. There were two .other 
things he had picked up at Newington Green : so 
thorough a use of his fists as to win him the title of the 
" English boxing boy," and a resolution never broken 
not to strike an enemy when he was down. To a nature, 
however, like Defoe's, the most valuable teachers and 
disciplinarians were the events which as a boy he lived 
through, and the conversations concerning them heard 
from the shrewd, serious Presbyterians among whom he 
was nurtured. Charles II. 's Declaration of Indulgence, 
ostensibly intended to relieve impartially all outside the 
Church of England, really aimed at crushing out all 
that was Protestant both in that Church and in Non- 
conformity, to clear the way for Rome. Before he was 
fourteen, while still at the Newington school, Defoe would 
have witnessed his elders' indignation at the persecu- 



DEFOE TO ADDISON 55 

tion of Richard Baxter, of Manton, and other leading 
Evangelicals. This was what the King and his friends 
chuckled at as "tightening the curb for the snufflers." 
As afterwards Defoe himself put it, the frauds and 
barbarities instigated by the Court provoked among the 
people the spirit of revenge which is a kind of wild 
justice, and which found brutal and bloodthirsty ex- 
pression in the hatching, by Titus Oates, of the Popish 
Plot. Meanwhile the savageries of the Cabal Ministry 
against the Scotch Covenanters were at their height. 
His family and friends were struck with the fullness 
and accuracy of the information which, no one 
exactly knew how, young Defoe had acquired con- 
cerning the martyrdom endured by whole companies 
of Protestant worshippers beyond the Tweed. Those 
abominations first gave currency to the name of the 
political party with which, as writer and politician, Defoe 
throughout his life was identified ; in some of his 
reminiscences he describes how a squat figure, with a 
vulgar, drawling voice, and, right in the centre of his 
broad, flat face, a mouth of fit capacity for the huge lies 
it uttered (such were Titus Oates 's chief characteristics), 
described his opponents and censors by the Irish name of 
Tories, meaning villains and thieves. On the other hand, 
the hunted and harried Cameronians, living on sour 
milk or whey, were contemptuously called Whigs. Not 
that the ardent youth had been schooled into intoler- 
ance even of " Papishers." It was all an accident of 
nurture. ; had he been brought up among Romans instead 
of Presbyterians, professing their doctrines, he would 
have vied with them in their practices ; because he would 
then have believed their cruelties had opened for him 
the path to heaven. When about thirty years of ag'e 
Defoe found himself so far interested in Descarte's broad 
propositions concerning the Deity and His relations to 
man as to publish a little treatise, A Voyage to the World 
of Cartesias, of which few copies now exist. He cared, of 
course, as little about metaphysics as about Arabic. In 
religion as in politics his standpoint was always that of 
the average Englishman's common sense. His faith 
rested on the necessity of the Bible for any kind of 
religion. Therefore he believed the later Stuarts 
seriously wished to take the Scriptures away from their 



56 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

subjects. He had not left school when his father found 
him copying out the Pentateuch against the time when 
there should be no more Bibles left. The performance 
of this task secured him the crown of a precocious 
martyrdom, and, before he was fifteen, led to his being 
hooted through the streets by a courtier mob for thinking 
more' of the Gospel whined out through Presbyterian 
noses than of the command, not a whit the less sacred, to 
honour and, if needs be, to humour, the King while 
fearing God. Broken crockery and curses, he faced 
them all without flinching, and with no other companion 
than an oaken cudgel. This he called his Protestant flail. 
Nor could any of William's Hessians have given him 
surer protection. Fleet Street, then beginning to be the 
haunt of newspaper men, was also infested by ruffians. 
As Defoe went from' Fleet Bridge into Whitefriars, two or 
three fellows sometimes set upon him together. They 
had scarcely come within his reach when they got a 
knock " which not only caused them to dance, but which 
made them so humble as to kiss the ground at his feet, 
sometimes even descending to the kennel." 
, All this, however, was play in comparisofi with the 
experiences awaiting him soon after reaching man's 
estate. Charles II. lived long enough to draw up his 
Reasons for disagreeing with Protestantism, which the 
Popish Duke of York exhibited as a kind of title before 
succeeding to his brother's throne in 1685. Defoe dipped 
his pen in the ink of Protestant disaffection, and in article 
after article implored his readers to hold themselves ready 
for welcoming an anti -papal champion. Brave, beautiful, 
excelling in all manly exercises and games, the son of 
Lucy Walters had been admiringly watched by Defoe 
while he was stealing the hearts of the people from his 
uncle, their unlawful King. In Monmouth's train, con- 
spicuous by the skill of his horsemanship and the com- 
pleteness of his equipment, rode Daniel Defoe. That 
he came out of this adventure with a whole neck was 
due to his not having taken part in the fatal Sedgemoor 
fight. Moreover, before Jeffreys had opened his 
" Bloody Assize," Defoe had promptly placed the English 
Channel between the Court sleuth-hounds and himself. 
Inheriting with his father's money the business fore- 
sight and clear head of that opulent City tradesman, 



DEFOE TO ADDISON 67 

Daniel Defoe had invested his very considerable savings 
to great advantage in Spain and in other foreign 
countries . Thus, on the hue and cry being* raised against 
him, a few hours' voyage sufficed to place him in a 
safe and comfortable retreat. After doubling re- 
peatedly he at last took ship for Lisbon. His pursuers 
were cursing their luck, themselves, and him for having 
lost the scent in England. Meanwhile, beneath its 
glorious cork-trees, Defoe was revelling beyond the 
reach of risk in the unclouded suns of his peninsular 
refuge. All this while at home his hosiery business, 
superintended by him through the post, went on as usual 
at Freeman's Court, Comhill. Before he appeared at 
his counter again he had made the grand tour, and 
had covered most of the ground between Madrid and 
Moscow. He had left the shores of Britain a raw youth ; 
he returned to them a seasoned man of the world with a 
knowledge of foreign politics picked up on the spot, 
and with his natal patronymic improved into Defoe. His 
bodily dangers were for the present at an end. The 
long season of his mental, moral anxieties, perplexities, 
and sufTering;s was about to begin. James II. had used 
the dispensing power generally to place himself above 
the laws, and especially to re-establish Roman 
Catholicism. The persecuted Nonconformists were 
largely disposed to buy religious liberty at the price 
of civil freedom'. The folly, the cowardice, and the 
danger of doing this formed the subject of Defoe's 
maiden effort at journalism. This piece of writing 
merits more than mere mention not only because it shows 
that there had come to hini by nature that simplicity, 
directness, and force of style which caused him to found 
a school of newspaper writers, just as Eliot and Pym 
had introduced into the debates at Westminster the 
oratorical qualities that made them Parliamentary models 
for all time, but because it had the effect of isolating 
him from his fellow religionists. There thus began 
for him the life of literary as well as political, personal, 
and domestic solitude, which fate had ordained that he 
should lead almost to the end, and which made the narra- 
tive of Robinson Crusoe's lonely years on his island 
the allegorical account of his creator's newspaper course. 
Thus in Defoe's first newspaper piece of real impor- 



58 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

tance was struck the keynote which sounded through- 
out the innumerable articles and tracts that were to 
follow from the same han'd. The Dissenters were 
grovelling before the Court while they bolted the bait 
of a trap into which a knavish prince lured them for 
their ruin. On the other hand, the Anglican clergy, 
who set the example of the loyal addresses that the 
Nonconformists followed, were all blindly playing the 
part of Judas to their sovereign'. 

Meanwhile there had. been prepared for Defoe rough 
vicissitudes of personal fortune fraught with two far- 
reaching consequences. First, from this time forth he 
became the most prominent public character among the 
journalists of his time ; secondly, business reverses were 
to be instrumental in providing the leisure necessary 
for maturing and completing his whole scheme of news- 
paper operations. Experience had given Defoe the true 
philosopher's stone ; he had, that is, formed the habit 
of finding material for his pen in every experience and 
so profiting by the sweet uses of adversity as almost 
instinctively to pluck the precious jewel even from 
the ugly and venomous toad's head. It was a bad time 
for trade throughout the City, and, indeed, throughout the 
country. The hosiery business in Freeman's Court, Corn- 
hill, had for some time done little more than just pay. An 
attempt to retrieve his fortunes by a new venture mis- 
carried. The bailiffs came in ; the shutters were put 
up. A jail, said Defoe, pays no debts ; perpetual im- 
prisonment is nothing" else than murder by law. For 
some time he preserved his liberty by lurking" among the 
bankrupt sanctuaries of Whitefriars and the Mint. 
Sickened with the moral and physical stench of these 
places, he fled to the provinces ; he reached Bristol! 
safely, even though throughout his journey he could 
never count on being quite out of the bailiffs' sight. 
The change from the Thames to the Avon did not 
enable him to dispense with strict personal precautions. 
His walks abroad were confined to the first day of 
the week ; his appearances then in a handsome suit 
of clothes caused him to be known as the " Sunday 
gentleman." 

Born journalist as he was, Defoe met with no losses 
or sufferings which he could not and did not, at a 
moment's notice, turn into capital " copy." His per- 



DEFOE TO ADDISON 59 

sonal experience had sounded all the infaniies, social 
and spiritual, of which the metropolitan bankrupt 
sanctuaries, described in Scott's Fortunes of Nigel, were 
the scene. On the strength' of what he had thus 
learned he set to work in his hewspapers on Insol- 
vency Law Reform— with such effect that several 
of the worst abuses had been swept away while 
William and Mary yet reigned. The sojourn at Bristol 
would have been sufficiently eventful if for no other 
reason than that it secured Defoe the necessary leisure for 
thinking out and partly writing the most important of 
his early contributions to journalism, embodying as that 
piece of work did a newspaper programme which was 
to be developed by him during the next few years in 
an effective series of shorter pieces. What, not so much 
in politics, as in social, intellectual movements of all 
kinds, in commerce and trade, in literature and morals, 
were the tendencies of the age? How was progress 
in each of these departments of activity and thought likely 
to be affected by the new freedom brought in by a 
Constitutional Monarchy? Such were the questions [to 
which Defoe addressed himself in the Essay on Projects, 
entirely composed during the years he passed at Bristol, 
though not published till quite the end of the seven- 
teenth or the beginning of the eighteenth century. Prac--j 
tically or in detail to deal with the schemes mentioned 
in this composition was beyond the power of Defoe or of 
any other individual publicist. The chief importance of* 
the essay lies in the fact that for a long time to come it 
provided a succession of newspaper writers with a chart 
for their literary course, at once warning them against 
the dangers of which they must beware, indicating the 
points at which they were to aim, and acquainting them 
with the spirit in which they were, for success to approach 
the various topics catalogued in what was, in effect, 
Defoe's journalistic testament. It thus contained not 
merely material for essays and articles innumerable, but 
for pamphlets entire, and even for a host of separate 
newspapers. A glance at its chief heads shows this 
statement to be literally true. The Revolution of 1688, 
by securing civil and religious liberty- to every class and 
individual, had already given a fresh impulse to trade, 
as well as to all commercial or industrial projects and 
adventures. That formed the proposition from which 



60 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Defoe started. The first step towards promoting' these 
ends was to connect the more important provincial centres 
by an improved system of roads. That done, banks in 
every country town would be a chief feature in a thorough 
reconstitution of the banking" system. With the banks 
there would come also savings banks for the poor, to 
be supplemented afterwards by facilities for small invest- 
ments in sound securities, calculated to encourage the 
virtue of thrift. Concurrently with these, there would 
be offices for insurance against every kind of accident, 
benefit and friendly societies subject to government or 
expert inspection, safeguarded for their members by the 
most stringent and practical guarantees against fraud. 
More than a generation in advance of Ralph Allen with 
his post office and road reforms, Defoe insisted on the 
need of quickening the transmission of letters, and, to 
that end, among others, of making the King's highway 
reasonably safe from John o' Groat's to Land's End. 
Allen's road improvements for postal convenience are only 
one instance among several of the immediate effect pro- 
duced by the Projects essay. Ship insurance had existed 
in Italy between 40 and 50 A.D. That, however, was 
all. In England, the burning of the City in 1666 brought 
one or two fire insurance offices into existence. But 
life insurance was unknown till 1706, some years after 
its first advocacy by Defoe. His experiences in both 
relationships enabled him to outline wholesome changes 
in the law of debtor and creditor. The creditor's rights 
were to be secured by severe measures against dishonest 
debtors, but he was to lose his opportunities for depriving 
of their liberty those guilty of no other offence than 
inability, from causes beyond their control, at once to 
settle the debts which they had no thought of evading. 
— From popular reforms dreamt of by no newspaper writer 
before him, Defoe turned his attention to high finance. 
William III. was firmly seated on the throne vacated 
by his father-in-law's flight. What Augustus had been 
to the muse of Horace or Virgil, that his adopted country's 
deliverer from royal absolutism and papal priestcraft had 
become to Defoe. The wars undertaken by William 
for the freedom of Europe must be brought to a success- 
ful end. Defoe overflowed with suggestions for raising 
the necessary ways and means. He received his reward 
in a piece of State patronage that delivered him from 



DEFOE TO ADDISON 61 

his counter in the Cornhill Cdurt, and made him, between 
1694 and 1699, accountant to the commissioners of the 
glass duty. The first to make the newspaper felt as a , 
national power, Defoe was also the first to make the 
journalist's vocation respectable in the eyes of City men. 
His official promotion was, indeed, largely due to the 
good offices of a leading West India merchant, Dalby 
Thomas. At the same time he embarked upon a well- 
conceived private business of his own, some tile and 
brick works, occupying, he had satisfied himself, (the 
very ground at Tilbury on which Queen Elizabeth had 
delivered the famous address to her people. Both in 
his accountantship and his brickyard were gathered ex- 
periences which left their mark upon his literary work. 
The Thames flowing past Defoe's kilns and brickfields 
also conducts its waters through much of his writing. 
The same attraction possessed for Defoe by the Thames 
with its longshore life and characters was felt by another 
great writer in whose popular fibre, simplicity, force, and 
realism Defoe would have seen his literary descendant. 
Within sound, if not within sight of the Thames, Charles 
Dickens fixed his country home. The river's banks wit- 
nessed the most tragic among the closing scenes in David 
Cop per field. Different sections of the river in other of its 
reaches or its shores formed the effective backgrounds 
in novels that, like Our Mutual Friend and Great 
Expectations, show the master's hand, since the Copper- 
field period, to have lost little of the skill in the realistic 
delineation whose rudiments he had first studied in Defoe 
himself. Rough characters abounded on the river banks 
in the days of both writers. Defoe's Robinson Crusoe 
and the Abel Magwitch of Great Expectations both had 
their originals in some of the Thames longshoremen of 
the different periods. Defoe's great narrative was 
deliberately planned as a kind of autobiographical 
allegory. The solitariness of his position in politics and 
literature was deepened by the trying conditions of his 
home life. Mrs. Defoe had no sympathy with literary 
pursuits of any kind or with books. The place, she 
complained, was in a state of everlasting litter from 
pens, papers, and rubbish of that kind. Why did not 
the man stick to his hosiery trade at the old shop, instead 
of writing what nobody wanted to read, or what, when 



62 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

it was written, only got him into prison or into the 
pillory? Defoe kept his temper, and refused to be pro- 
voked into any reply, or, indeed, to open his mouth at all 
at the domestic hearthside. The silence thus begun was 
continued for twenty -eight years, just the time of Crusoe's 
lonely sojourn on his island.' A severe illness brought 
the obstinate fit of taciturnity to a close. With speech 
and health regained, Defoe entered on the last portion 
of his strange and strenuous life, during which he wrote 
not only Robinson Crusoe, but all the other books on 
which his inlmortality rests. 

Meanwhile, like Tutchin, Dunton, and most other lead- 
ing spirits in the journalism of that day, Defoe passed 
for a Whig. The truth, however, is that his temper 
toward and his treatment of all matters concerning Church 
and State were consistently marked by entire indepen- 
dence of party connection. Parliament, he held, was 
in duty bound to secure good government for the whole 
realm, and to every individual subject the right of such 
religious worship as he preferred. So long as this was 
done, and a strong and wise executive personified itself 
in the King, it mattered little what Parliament men were 
in power. A Tory House of Commons had disgusted 
Defoe and those who thought with him by its violent 
impeachment of the Whig Ministers. Defoe therefore, 
in 1 70 1, looked for the true sense of the country in the 
Whig House of Lords ; he thus agreed with the Kentish 
Petition, and himself wrote the Legion Memorial. The 
combined eff^ect of these documents was to enable the 
King to recall his Whig Ministers, to increase his army, 
and to take up the scattered or broken threads of the 
Grand Alliance. Defoe's share in producing those results 
represented the exercise of an influence as great and as 
direct on politics as by his Essay on Projects he had 
already exerted upon social pr.og'ress. It also deeply 
recommended Defoe personally to William, and secured 
for the literary Teniers of his day, as Defoe may well 
be called, the same personal favour as the Prince of 
Orange had already extended to the artist whose brush 
had done for Holland something of the same service as 
was rendered by Defoe's pen to Great Britain. To the 

' For an exhaustive account of the details connected with this subject see the 
Life of Defoe, by Thomas Wright (Cassell & Co.), p. 27. 



DEFOE TO ADDISON 63 

year (1701) which produced the Legion Memorial and 
in it established Defoe's fame as the first of political 
writers, belonged also his satire the True-born English- 
man. This ridicules the English claim to purity pi 
descent, and reminds the railers at the Dutch and new- 
come foreigners that they themselves were descended 
from successive swarms of foreign conquerors and 
refugees. Truly then, is the general conclusion of the 
argument, a true-born Englishman is but a metaphor 
invented for expressing a man akin to all the universe. 
During this period, too, largely no doubt as a result of 
his close and constant conferences with William III., 
for the benefit not only of his immediate readers, but 
of all who miglit take it upon themselves to instruct 
their generation with the pen, Defoe defined the origin 
and the significance of the relations existing between 
Crown, Parliament, and people. To Defoe, William III. 
personified a principle greater and more permanent than 
either of the legislative chambers at Westminster . Power 
of every kind, whether royal or Parliamentary, had the 
people for its source. For their good it must be 
exercised. His mere acceptance of the invitation to the 
English throne left empty by the flight of James showed, 
as Defoe held, that William accepted the popular source 
of kingly power as the first principle of British monarchy. 
His conduct since his accession had convinced Defoe 
and those who thought with him that, in such a sov- 
ereign's hands, national rights and liberties were safe. 
Nothing, Defoe believed, could ever put the English 
people out of love with monarchy. And this because 
men never willingly changed for the worse, and the 
English people enjoy more freedom in their regal polity 
than any people in the world can do in a Republican. 
William was at once the King of the people and the 
people's King. To him, so long as he continued in his 
present temper, allegiance was due. No such claim 
could be made by the King's Parliament, Lords or Com- 
mons. Both, indeed, might serve for useful instruments 
of the royal administration. Such were the ideas which, 
nine years before Robinson Crusoe appeared, Defoe began 
to impress on the public in his weekly Review of the 
Affairs of State. From the newspaper office to the prison 
it has always been but a step . The connection between the 



64 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

two places commenced with Defoe ; it was continued, 
as will be shown hereafter, almost to our own time. 
Defoe, as has been seen, planned the Essay, on Projects 
(1698) during the retreat from his creditors to Bristol, 
while a pack of bailiffs outside besieged the house in 
which he plied his pen. The Shortest Way with Dis- 
senters (1703), mostly written at Steyning, in the house 
of Sir John Fagg, one of the Sussex members, was at 
first taken for a recantation of his earlier pleas for 
religious liberty. On being seen in its true character 
as a grim piece of sustained irony,' it secured him a 
year in Newgate. During that time he planned ^nd 
completed all preliminary arrangements for bringing out 
^ the Review. This began by appearing once in every 
seven days. Its success soon caused its issue on Tuesday, 
Thursday, and Saturday. Defoe united in himself the 
functions of editor, publisher, political writer, social and 
literary critic. Whatever his preoccupation with national 
affairs, he always showed himself keenly alive to the 
fact that a newspaper's success must depend on its popu- 
larity with readers who. cared little or nothing for politics. 
The citizen who bought the Review in Fleet Street, and 
talked over its tidings and its comments with his acquaint- 
ances at the coffee-house or tavern, carried it home to 
his wife and daughters that they might instruct or amuse 
themselves with social and miscellaneous causerie con- 
taining the germ of those essays that, some ten years 
later, were to delight the town in the Spectator of Addison 
and Steele. The machinery employed by Defoe for 
social discussion was that of a " Scandalous Club." 
Before this tribunal a husband complains of his wife. 
Having had a hearing, he is asked : " Have you given 

' The nature of this satire, which is exactly in the same vein as Swift's 
Argument to Prove the Inconvenience O' Abolishing Christianity, may be seen 
from a few specimen sentences: "We can never enjoy a settled uninterrupted 
union in this nation till the spirit of whiggism, faction, and schism is melted down 
like the old money. To secure the Church we must destroy her enemies, though 
perhaps not necessarily by fire and faggot. Still they must be rooted out if ever 
we would live in peace or serve God. Ii the gallows or the galleys instead of 
mere fines were the reward of going to a conventicle there would not be so many 
sufferers." " Hear, hear," applauded the University common rooms, one of 
whose members, a Cambridge fellow, pronounced the Shortest Way an excellent 
treatise, and, next to the Holy Bible and the sacred Comments, the most valuable 
he had ever seen. 



DEFOE TO ADDISON 65 

any just groimd for offence? " His inability or refusal 
to answer makes the club pass a resolution to hear no 
complaints against a bad wife who is virtuous from a 
good husband who is vicious. As a journalist, Defoe 
prepared the way not only for Addison and Steele in 
his own century, but, in the subsequent period, for 
Cobbett, Cobden, and the newspaper champions of free 
trade. Defoe was a free-trader bom out of due time. 
This is how he writes on the subject : By our impolitic 
restrictions we think to plague the foreigner. In reality, 
he argues, we do but deprive ourselves. Then comes 
an illustration : '-' ' If you vex me I'll eat no dinner,' 
said I, when I was a little boy : till my mother taugjht 
me to be wiser by letting me stay till I was hungry." 

Defoe's personal interest and importance in English ' 
journalism are due much more to specimens of shrewd 
foresight like these, combined with force of phrase and 
character, than to his work as a party or even a political 
writer. That does not prevent his having been the 
most powerful publicist yet possessed by the Whigs ; 
in that capacity he is said to have made his first un- 
doubted hit in a Whig publication when replying to 
one of L'Estrange's Stuart diatribes. Defoe's rejoinder 
to the Coxirt scribe bears the curious title of Specutunt 
Crapegownorum. Beginning with a statement of the 
true principles for English foreign policy, it proceeds, 
like many other of Defoe's writings, to condemn the 
notion of helping the Turks in their war against the 
Empire on the ground that if Protestantism had an 
interest in checking the influence of the Catholic Power, 
it must be far more deeply concerned to oppose a Moham- 
medan Power. Defoe had already firmly established 
himself as the idol and the oracle of the masses. The 
English Teniers of the pen, as the Dutch William hailed 
him, now became a steady favourite at Court ; here he 
made himself the most effective of general utility men. 
In the morning he was talking over with King William, 
and receiving royal hints about, a forthcoming newspaper 
series. In the afternoon he was giving Queen Mary 
the benefit of the varied horticultural knowledge he had j 
picked up in his foreign travels and practically instruct- % 
ing her how to lay out the gardens of all kinds at 
Kensington or Hampton Court Palace. All this time, 

5 



66 MASTEKS OF JOURNALISM 

too, he was in the closest and most constant cbmniunica- 
tiori with iWilliam about the coming xinion between 
England and Scotland. Of this, indeed, the earliest 
idea had been thrown out in the conversations held 
by the sovereign with the journalist. Nor was it only 
with a newspaper-man's pen that more was done in 
furtherance of this project by Defoe than by any other 
individual subject. Appointed secretary to the Com- 
missioners for carrying out the Union, he received from 
the reserved Godolphin an acknowledgement of the in- 
dispensable services rendered by him to the scheme. 
Thus, over twenty years before Bolingbroke and Pulteney 
brought out the Dean of St. Patrick's on the Craftsman, 
the Whig Defoe had stood as high in the confidence 
of his party chiefs as was ever done by Jonathan Swift 
in his intercourse with the men by whom the Tories 
were led. Whatever might be his other engagements, 
he never ceased to be a newspaper man first and an 
official afterwards. During the Union negotiations his 
Review distinguishes itself by the entirely novel and 
necessary work of removing English prejudices against 
the people who lived beyond the Tweed. These, with 
many instances, he showed, were admirable for their 
love of liberty, their deep religious feelings, their un- 
daunted perseverance, and their unfailing hospitality. The 
Scotch soil abounded in the kindly fruits of the earth ; 
it was favourable for every sort of manufacture. But 
while liberty and trade had made England rich, tyranny 
and its deadening influences on industry ' had left Scot- 
land poor. Not only was Defoe the most characteristic 
prototype of the English journalist ; the startling rapidity 
and the dramatic completeness of its vicissitudes make his 

' Among other things, to counteract the evils from which Scotland suffered, 
but primarily no doubt to promote a better feeling between the two countries now 
about to be joined under one crown, Defoe started the Edinburgh Courant. 
This paper, transformed from a Whig into a Conservative organ, associated itself 
with many well-known names in nineteenth-century journalism. James Hannay 
was at one time its editor with T. E. Kebbel and J. P. Steele among his leader 
writers. One of its latest editors was James Mure, son of Colonel Mure of 
Caldwell, the accomplished Greek scholar. In 1886 came the final split in the 
Liberal ranks over Home Rule. The Scotsman, made by Alexander Russel the 
first of Scotch daily papers, sided with the Unionists, and performed all the 
essential functions of a Tory organ. The Courant, which had long been in a 
languishing position, now died quite out. 



DEFOE TO ADDISON 67 

life a mirror and aii epitome of the journalist's most 
distinctive experiences. In i/oi the True-born EngUsh- 
matiy in the manner already seen, had indeed recom- 
mended Defoe in the highest quarters. Two years later 
his Shortest Way, with Dissenters had laid him by the 
heels in Newgate, but in 1704 the Tory Harley, a patron 
of letters, had joined Godolphin's Government, spoke a 
good word for the poor prisoner, and was desired by 
his chief to find out what could be done for Defpie. 
The prisoner's reply was an adaptation of the New Testa- 
ment petition : " My, lord, that I may receive my 
liberty." Liberty was the oiie, or at least the first, 
thing which Defoe desired and which, thanks to Harley 
and Godolphin, he at once secured. From the dungeon, 
Defoe thus became the man -of -all -work of a King and 
the spy and tool of the Minister whom it paid him best 
to serve. Of party loyalty Defoe made no profession, 
and only looked to see which way the cat jumped. At 
this stage of his career much of Defoe's journalism was 
done in the intervals of politics. On short notice he 
was perpetually sent on a secret business abroad to those 
capitals or countries whose people and whose language 
he had first studied when, from one end of Europe 
to the other, he was pursued as a rebel by the officers 
of the second James. From these missions beyond the 
sea, Defoe landed at Dover only to work off heavy 
arrears of home affairs. On the eve of the elections 
which broke down the Tory majority in the Lower House, 
he rode on horseback as many miles throughout the 
country as had been done by Hampden and Pym when 
they were beating up recruits for the Long Parliament. 
While in the saddle, he struck out the most effective 
couplets for his True-born Englishman. That compo- 
sition, appearing in 1701, had won an immediate and 
extraordinary success. Twelve editions and the eighty 
thousand copies sold in the streets brought the author 
a little fortune, as well as spread his fame throughdut 
the land. If dog'gerel rather than poetry, it was at once 
effective in itself and a capital preparation for the writing 
of good prose. Its best known couplets about God's 
house of prayer and the devil's chapel, at once popular 
on their first appearance, are curiously suggestive of 
George Herbert's -' No gocmer (3 4 temple built to God, 



68 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

but the devil builds a chapel hard by."' It also gave 
a hint to a nineteenth -century versifier for some clever 
lines now no lonlger too familiar for quotation here : — 

" In a church that is furnished with gurgoyle and gable, 
With chancel and reredos, with muUion and groin, 
The penitents' dresses are sealskin and sable. 
The odour of sanctity's eau de Cologne. 
But only could Lucifer, flying from Hades, 
Gaze down on this crowd with its perfumes and paints. 
He would say, as he looked at the lords and the ladies, 
'O where is All Sinners, if this is All Saints?' " 

In his most poetical moments Defoe never dreamed 
of throwing into them the earnestness animating " holy 
Mr. Herbert's " lines, or aiming at the lilt and polish 
of the more modern versifier. That, as has been seen, 
did not prevent their catching the ear of the crowd, and 
opening to their author the palace doors whenever he 
chose to enter them. Alw'ays thrown off with ease and 
rapidity, and jotted down at odd moments, his rhymes, 
if never rising to. poetry, so improved with practice that 
his nearly unknown poem, the Diet of Poland, contains 
stray verses not without something of Churchill's ring. 
These metrical exercises, moreover, proved an excellent 
discipline to him as a writer of prose. From the year 
of the True-born Englishman (1701), to the terseness 
and clearness which had always marked his political 
pieces were added a finish and an epigrammatic flavour 
such as till then the publicist had hardly displayed. 
Now, too, he introduced into his broadsides fresh and 
lighter features greatly contributing to their commercial 
^ success. Defoe was the earliest editor to give his readers, 
though not always at the bottom of the page, a regular 
feuilleton. What the novel is to the twentieth -century 
newspaper, the column of sensational and, for the most 
part, supernatural incident was to Defoe's Review. Un- 
rivalled by his contemporaries for the quickness and 
accuracy with which he judged the popular taste of 
the moment or forecast its coming tendencies, Defoe 
had long since seen that the materialism of the Restora- 
tion period would provoke a reaction and bring the 
sujpernatural into fashion. By way of verifying this 

' Works of Rev. G. Herbert (Routledge), p. 385. 



DEFOE TO ADDISON 69 

estimate, he galvanised into life, by his sprightly preface 
and by his account of Mrs. Veal's appearance from the 
grave to her friend Mrs. Bargrave, a deadly dull treatise, 
Drelincotirt on Death. In a twinkling the printer sold 
off the copies which he had hitherto looked upon as 
wastepaper, and Defoe satisfied himself that he might 
advantageously mingle some flesh -creeping paragraphs 
with the political matter which formed the staple of 
his Review. Whatever he really believed about the 
relations between the visible and invisible universe^ he 
found, like the editor of the Westminster Gazette in 1894, 
that the spooks would be a good card to play with his 
public. It was all done with an air of seriousness. 
After much thought and experience, he had, he said, 
come to the conclusion that the Creator had posted an 
army of ministering spirits round our globe to execute 
His orders and serve on extraordinary occasions as His 
express messengers to men. For himself, like Socrates, 
he firmly believed in having for his constant com- 
panion a daemon or good spirit, wisely counselling him 
in all perplexities. That assurance, however, did not 
prevent the sense of a never absent solitariness. Indeed, 
the growing burden of perplexity and toil deepened with 
Defoe into the gloom of periodical despair. Not that 
he would ever allow to his own soul a real loss of faith. 
Daily and nightly, like a second Jacob, he wrestled with 
Heaven in prayer. At last came relief and an abiding 
conviction of Divine guidance and protection. These 
caused him, while at his desk, to break forth in a 
Te Denm; they also left a sense, which never deserted 
him, of a help on which, while walking humbly with his 
God, he might, whatever the extremity, count. Nor, he 
insisted, was his own a unique experience. All who live 
in the practice of real devotion may receive unheard and 
imseen notice of mischief or disaster in time to shun the 
evil before it arrives. The mystic's familiar spirit some- 
times proved practically useful to the journalist. On 
Anne's accession the burst of Tory enthusiasm spread 
from the Court throughout the kingdom. The House 
of Commons was High Tory to a man. Better, said 
Defoe to himself, confess the failure of his hopes at 
once, and give up all thought of overthrowing Notting- 
ham, the Tory chief. The inward voice whispered that 



70 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

the case was not hopeless ; he redoubled the energies 
of his pen. By the spring of 1705 the Tory Oiajority 
in the Commons had melted away, A split in the Tory 
Party had brought about the coalition between Harley 
with St. John on the one side, and Cowper with Halifax 
and Somers on the other. This result was due to Defoe's 
articles in the Review more than to any other single 
cause. 

That was the first great victory won by the seven- 
teenth-century newspaper man, who, more than any other 
among his predecessors or contemporaries, personified 
a great editor's and a great writer's most essential quali- 
ties. Such are the gifts and such the actual achieve- 
ments constituting Defoe's claim to be considered the 
chief seventeenth -century creator of the English news- 
paper. By his permanent influence upon the political 
machinery of the time and on its social or literary 
conditions, Defoe did inore than this ; he created 
Addison, For neither as journalist nor politician would 
Addison's distinction and success have been possible 
apart from the Whig ascendancy secured by Defoe's 
pett and the periodical writer's improved position, 
largely consequent on Defoe's literary example and 
personal success. Two years after the Tory discomfi- 
ture at the polls, so largely brought about by Defoe's 
peri, Joseph Addison, as Under-Secretary for State, 
accompanied Charles Montague, Lord Halifax, on a 
Garter mission to the Electoral Prince of Hanover. 
Addison's newspaper course is distinguished from that 
of others by the fact of his best journalistic work 
being done subsequently to his establishment in social 
and political position. At Oxford, indeed, as Demy 
of Magdalen first and Fellow afterwards, he had written 
some short prose pieces, but especially several exercises 
in rhyme complimentary to the House of Hanover, for 
the most part on grand State occasions. These marked 
him out to the Whig managers as a youth of promise 
to be looked after ; but he had become a considerable 
ofiScial of State before his pen made much social or 
political mark in the press. Like Defoe, and, for that 
matter. Swift, as well as others of the time, Addison 
had begun in metre. From the first the most vigilant 
observer of rising talent, as well as the btest versed 



DEFOE TO ADDISON 71 

iril literature, Halifax had kept his eyes on 'A'ddisbri, aMd 
knowing something privately of him as well as of his 
connections, had resolved to give him a chance. It was 
Halifax who secured Addison the commission to com- 
memorate Marlborough's victory at Blenheim in The 
Campaign, and who showed his approval of the way 
in which the task was executed by taking the poet, 
three years later, on the continental errand already men- 
tioned. Addison's literary style deserves all the praise 
given it by Bulwer-Lyttoii for perfection of workman- 
ship and delicacy of art. Those, however, were the 
qualities elaborated by him in the Spectator, arid so 
comparatively late in his literary course . As a thoroughly, 
equipped tnan of letters and scholar, he rose to the first 
place in his vocation, but in his capacity of newspaper 
writer he owed his party effectiveness to the intimacy 
of his association with' Halifax. This sag'acious observer 
of the newspaper's growing importance generally, and 
of Addison's qualifications in particular, had convinced 
himself that the day of the pamphlet was nearly gone. 
For the future, he said to his companion during their 
joint sojourn at Hanover, at least as much prominence 
must be given to news as to comment. Instead pf 
laboured dissertations upon" the topic of the time, there 
must be well conceived arid concise observations, of 
a length proportioned to the importance of the theme, 
upon each fresh batch of iritellig'ence as it comes in. 
This, in effect, though riot in words, was a hint to 
Addison that, if he wished to serve his party, he would 
do well to cultivate the composition of something mid- 
way between the tractate and the paragraph, in other 
words, the leading! article. Not in the Spectator, but 
in other broadsheets with which he h'ad earlier to do, 
and afterwards most conspicuously in his own Free- 
holder, of which something will presently be said, 
Addison acted on the advice of Halifax. Without any 
such counsel, Defoe had already writteW many leaders; 
in his Review. The examlple was now systematically 
followed by Addison. From' his time it beg'ari to be 
imderstood that it was not the pamphlet nor the disserta- 
tion in any shape which would be instrumental in guiding 
popular opinion, in making and unmaking Cabinets. 
Meanwhile, Addison's father. Dr. Lancelot Addison, from 



72 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

being Rector of Milston, Amesbury, in Wiltshire, had, 
in 1683, becolme Dean of Lichfield. To him, or to other 
members of his influential family, Addison had owed his 
first acquaintanceship with Halifax, as well as the comfort- 
ing assurance that, amid all possible vicissitudes of party 
or even changes of dynasty, he would never lack well- 
placed friends toi push his interest and to replenish his 
purse. Addison was thus from first to last a prosperous 
man, in a position, while admonishing his colleague 
Steele to be more cautious, to help that improvident 
friend out of his difficulties by a loan of a thousand 
pounds, which, whatever Macaulay may insinuate to the 
contrary, Steele honourably repaid. Addison, therefore, 
was never out at elbows, or, like so many of his fellow 
writers, pressed to barter his independence for a patron 
arid a bank note.' Not being in want of money, he got 
of course good prices from those who employed his pen. 
In addition to a substantial sum down, The Campaign 
secured its author a Commissionership of Appeals. As 
regards the rest of Addison's doings with pen and ink, 
the usual order of experience was reversed. Instead 
of journalism being a stepping-stone to place, he had 
been for some time a comfortably salaried placeman 
before his advocacy of the Whigs attracted any great 
amount of attention in the newspaper press. In 1708, 
while, as throughout his life he continued to be, M.P. 
for Malmesbury in the English Parliament, he began 
his career of office as Irish Chief Secretary during 
Wharton's Lord Lieutenancy. He next entered the Irish 
Parliament as member for the borough of Cavan in 
,1709. In that year, too, he could first describe him- 
self as " an unworthy member of that ingenious frater- 
nity, the journalists of Great Britain." Thus did he 
pleasantly describe a craft to which he was always more 
than half ashamed of belonging. In his Love Tricks 
'(1625), the Elizabethan dramatist, Shirley, had satirised 
the professional newsmongers of his day. These, he 
said, were the men who wrote a battle in any part of 
Europe at an hour's warning, without setting a foot 

■ " Three things another's modest wishes bound : 
My friendship, and a Prologue, and ten pound." 

Pope, Prologue to the Satires, 1. 48. 



DEFOE TO ADDISON 73 

out of the tavern. Tiiey would also describe towns, 
fortifications, the enemy's leaders and strength, and yet 
face no danger except that of contradiction. Such were 
the taunts at his craft and fellow-craftsmen which 
Addison now made his own. To these he added the 
gibe of earthquakes and other prodigies being so familiar 
in print as to have lost their name. Chief among these 
dealers in portents was a certain Dyer, so famous for 
his whales that within five months he had brought three 
into the Thames, besides two porpoises and a sturgeon. 
Another of the inventive writers whom Addison calls 
his fellow -craftsmen was Ichabod Dawks, quite unrivalled 
in discovering plagues, famines, and convulsions of 
nature, which unpeopled cities and desolated continents. 
This piece of vivacious badinage appeared in an early 
number of the Tatler. That paper had been started by 
Addison's old contemporary at Charterhouse and Oxford, 
himself also, as editor of the London Gazette, filling a 
Government post. In the work of popularising the news- 
paper, the mantle of Defoe may be said to have fallen 
upon Steele. He had, indeed, taken Defoe's Review as 
the model for his own venture. The guns he carried 
were fewer and lighter than Defoe's, nor did he take 
Defoe's serious interest in the graver issues of current 
questions, moral or political. In his earliest journal 
he showed himself true to the name he had chosen for 
it. Adopting the pseudonym made famous by Jonathan 
Swift, Steele put forward Isaac Bickerstaff as the Tatter's 
editor. 

The early eighteenth century witnessed on the part 
of the newsj)aper -writer an intimacy as various and close 
with tavern life as was to be claimed by his later 
successors with the smoking-rooms of clubs. The 
journalist's forerunner, the newsletter -writer, picked up 
much of his information at ordinaries like those de- 
scribed in the Fortunes of Nigel. A little later, between 
1698 and 1736, White's Chocolate House formed a 
centre for fashionable chit-chat of all kinds. About 
1750 White's Tavern was started as White's Club; the 
old Almack's became Brooks's. These two gtew into 
the chief West End clubs. They were not, however, 
to provoke much imitation till many years later. In 
Steele's and Addison's day the public to which the Taller 



74 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

largely appealed, as well as tKe source fro'iri wKicli its 
intelligfence came, was the tavern. The distinction 
between Whig knd Tory taverns was not less clearly 
defined to the middle of the eighteenth centuty than that 
between Whig and Tory clubs in the following age. 
Addison, Steele, and their friends had their house of 
call at Button's. Here, too. Pope, Arbuthnot, Swift, 
and St. John (Boling'broke) often dropped in, sitting 
after dinner over their wine or punch till the place 
closed or they were due at the theatre, frequently, too, 
■returning to supper from the play, or perhaps a cup 
of tea with some hostess in Russell Square. The receipts 
of the chief taverns, if they could be examined, would 
throw light upon the fortunes of the newspaper men 
who were their chief customers. Button's long survived 
in the Bedford, Covent Garden, shorn, however, in that 
shape, of its former glories. In Hanoverian days the 
journalists, who were the creation and the pride 
of Queen Anne's reigh, began socially to be at a discount. 
Their conversation had lost its freshness ; citizens and 
macaronis no longer bribed waiters to give them a seat 
near Steele, Addison, or those who worked for them. 
But neither Addison nor Steele would ever have become 
journalistic forces in their own age and transmitted their 
influence to posterity if, during most of the eighteenth 
century, the gentlemen of the press, with an eye to 
picking up what they could at George's or Garraway's, 
had not, at both' these haimts, attracted the most select 
among the patrons of the place. George's, in our own day 
the George Hotel at the top of Devereux Court, opposite 
St. Clement's Church, was once or twice visited by Sir 
Robert Walpole, though more frequently by some of 
his understrappers, to whisper in the journalist's ear 
something the Minister wished to find its way into print. 
Sometimes the coffee-house and the tavern were dis- 
tinct?; but frequently they were combined beneath the 
same roof, the rooms only being separate. Steele and 
Addison, however, with all their colleagues, had many 
another point of social or convivial rendezvous than those 
already mentioned. To begin with, there were the two 
gteat gathering -points for wits, scholars, literati of all 
degrees at Will's, near Temple Bar, and the Grecian, a 
little further west. At the back of St. Clement's Church, 



DEFOE TO ADDISON 75 

in, as it was tKeri called, Butclier's Row, tKe ?wq col- 
leagues of the Spectator feasted at Clifton's off the best 
mutton chops in London. When the present writer in 
.1865 first dined at the Cock iri Fleet Street, Tennyson's 
plump head waiter told him he remembered Dr. Johnson: 
well, and pointed out the box where he used to sit. 
So some one else knew very well Lemuel Gulliver, and 
found his biographer, Jonathan Swift, only incorrect 
in not saying enough about his residence at Wapping. 
Occasional appearances were also put in by the fathers 
of journalism at the Mitre, theni as now lying between 
King's Bench Walk, at the east end of the Temple, and 
Fleet Street. Dick's, Thackeray's favourite resort, 
flourished in: the mid -Victorian era, just as it had 
done when, in 1709, Steele took to dine there some 
coimtry friends, who proved so punctilious about pre- 
cedence that he had a difficulty in getting them from 
the narrow crooked passage into the coff^ee-room. Further 
eastward in the City the poet Cowper, when keeping his 
terms at the Temple, used, at Batson's, to take his modest 
repast, thinking all the time what he should say in the 
next of the articles that, signed "Villager," were then 
appearing from his pen in the Connoisseur. Hard by 
Batson's, in 17 10, Addison and Swift for the first time 
dined together at Kivat's Ordinary, the landlord obliging 
them with some good wine at seven shillings a bottle, 
considerably, he said, below the usual price. 

Such were the favourite resorts of the newspaper men' 
with whom is now our immediate concern, as well as of 
the readers addressed by the Tatter or by the sheets 
which followed it. Addison, Steele, and their comrades 
of the better sort had their days and hours at the places 
now mentioned, less that they might pick up the talk of 
the town than that the social atmosphere of the tavern 
might suggest to them some new and attractive feature 
for putting into their broadsheets — some novelty, social 
or political, like those for which Defoe had ever been 
on the watch. This was how the journal grew in favour 
with the wives and daughters who pored for hours over 
the print which the head of the family, when he did 
not live above his place of business, broug'ht home with 
him to Bloomsbury or to one of the new northern suburbs 
by way of entertainment or instruction for the ladies of 



76 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

his household. Neither by Addison nor Steele were 
fresh notions struck out in the same sense and to 
the same extent as by Defoe, the one great teacher of 
both in every phase of the co-operation that continued 
actively till within a month or two before Addison's 
death, after a sharp quarrel which served to bring out 
in strong relief the difference between the temper as well 
as the genius of the two men. Addison, as we already 
know, made himself a newspaper man not in the hope 
of winning political ofiSce, but of confirming in power 
the political friends who had made his fortune. With- 
out further lifting of the journalist's pen, he would 
probably in the natural order of thing's have reached the 
Secretaryship of State that fell to him in 17 17. As 
a fact, however, two years before that promotion he 
had performed his chief work as a pure journalist in 
the Freeholder. This was exclusively his own produc- 
tion, before which Addison's contributions to periodical 
letters were those of the essay writer rather than 
of the party publicist. That did n!ot prevent Addison, 
in the opinion of himself and his friends, from having 
always served his party even more as a social thaii 
as a political writer. The Spectator refined and educated 
the middle classes . Surely to have done that was to have 
reflected not less public credit on the Whigs to whom this 
journalist belonged than if the Spectator influence had 
affected to the Whig advantage a division in Parliament 
or an election in the country. Steele, on the other 
hand, though, like Addison, he sat upon the Whig 
benches in Tarliament, and as editor of the London 
Gazette was a Whig placeman, had always been a free- 
lance, as tnuch at home with St. John and Harley as with 
Cowper or Halifax. He supported, indeed, the Whigs 
for choice, and with zeal so long* as their conduct pro- 
vided good ttiaterial for his pen. But to a degree of 
which Addison knew nothing, Steele ever looked beyond 
the politicians who praised his writings to the readers 
who bought them, for instruction or amusement, as the 
case might be. The question ever present to Steele 
was. What does the public want, and what, during the 
longest period, may it be trusted to buy? And again. 
When can my paper improve its prospects by playing 
the part of candid friend to the Wihigs rather than by 



DEFOE TO ADDISON 77 

being merely their champion? The reckless Steele be- 
lieved in strong writing rather than in deep thinking. 
The decorous Addison, on the other hand, thought more 
of winning one .Whig proselyte than of filling columns 
with pungent paragraphs. As journalists, Addison and 
Steele were both equally concerned, and equally con- 
tributed, to make their vocation, as well as those who 
plied it, independent of the patron. Each had a share 
in producing incomparably the most popular sheets which 
up to that time had appeared. Their broadsides, by 
their political, as by their miscellaneous contents, might 
or might not gratify the Whig managers. As to that 
neither cared so long as their subscribters and casual 
purchasers were pleased. Nevertheless, throughout most 
of their course the two men worked together, and 
remained necessary to each other. Macaulay's exalta- 
tion of Addison at Steele's expense has been sufficiently 
exposed by John Forster.' It is enough here to point 
out that, so far, as Macaulay says, from Steele never 
having succeeded without Addison's help, Addison's ven- 
tures never prospered so much as when he had the 
co-operation of Steele. Thus the Spectator, which in 
1 7 1 1 had superseded the Tatler, flourished just so long 
as Addison was supported by the keen, inventive, 
practical, arid inexhaustibly, resourceful Steele : that is, 
up to December 6, 1712. A year and a half later 
(June, 1 7 14), Addison revived the Spectator by himself. 
The resuscitated print, now that Steele's pen and manage- 
ment were withdrawn, survived only for six months. In 
1 7 1 5, while Scotch Jacobitism was at its height, Addison 
produced the Freeholder, entirely a ministerial organ. 
Steele praised its literary style, but protested its writer, 
instead pi playing on a lute^ ought to have blown the 
trumpet. To show what Addison ought to have done, 
Steele actually launched a journal of his own, Town- 
Talk, followed by the Crisis and one or two other short 
tracts. These lived about as long as the Freeholder ; 
they rendered, however, nothing like the same service 
to the new dynasty. Addison's Freeholder lived for 
just six months, from December, 171 5, to the following 
June ; it was followed by his Old Whig. This had been 

' Quarterly Reoiew, April, 1855, reprinted in Forster's Historical and Bio- 
graphical Essavs, vol. ii. p. 105. 



78 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

started to answer Steele's attacks in the Plebeian oii 
Sunderland's Peerage Bill ; when that episode was over 
it ceased to exist, and with it there died the memory of 
Addison's final attack on his old friend. It also brought 
to a close Addison's long course of newspaper work. 

Addison's early attacks upon the members of his own 
craft began', as we have already seen, in his first 
contribution to Steele's Tailer; continuing' to the end, 
they found their way into the Freeholder's initial issue, 
at the place where contempt is heaped upon " Grub 
Street patriots." These are the men who, if the Govern- 
ment be preserved, have nothing to hope for ; and if 
overturned, nothing to lose but an old inkstand.' Another 
Freeholder article apostrophises William n^t only as lord 
and master of the realm, but as the true parent of his 
people. Here his tone is an echo of that ringing through- 
out the pages of Defoe. " Once more and at last we 
have ,a king, too good to desire any power except so 
far as it enables him to promote the welfare of his 
subjects, and to give proof of his sovereign virtues." 
This composition is a panegyric upon William's whole 
course ; from his prowess in the field against the enemies 
of Christianity, begun in Hungary, in Germany, in 
Flanders, and in the Morea, and continued to the day on 
which he established a claim on British gratitude for 
insuring to his subjects here the national blessings which 
ought to be dear and valuable to a free people. This 
is not the only vein which traverses the Freeholder; 
for much space is given to satirising the artifices 
and tricks that manufactured the recent rising for the 
Pretender, when, as a fact, the kingdoni only desired to 
preserve a settled and tranquil loyalty to the House of 
Brunswick. 

In the hands of Defoe, the English newspaper first 
earned its conventional title by becoming, in reality as 
well as in name, a Fourth Estate. Defoe's Review, 
supplemented by his other broadsheets, exercised a super- 
vision over the national administration and expenditure 
more close and more trusted by the masses than the 
control of their representatives at Westminster. The 
daily or weekly journal, as conceived by Defoe, supplied 

» In the original the word is "standish," but this is what it means. 



DEFOE TO ADDISON 79 

the initiative and leverage for all movemeijts of political 
progress or social reform. For Addison and Steele it 
was reserved, while organising public opinion in support 
of the slowly accepted Revolution Settlement, to allay the 
animosities mutually embittering aga[inst each other, not 
so much rival factions in politics as competing orders 
and interests in society. The abominable system of 
funding — in other words, the investment of money in 
public securities rather than in land— had been declared 
by the country gentlemen to portend ruin to the nation 
and deadly danger to the Crown. The Sir Roger de 
Coverley of the Spectator lived like a patriarch among 
his tenants and a host of retainers whose well-being was 
his first care. In the Middle Ages the younger sons of 
county families had sought their fortune in trade ; as 
in modem phraseology it would have been expressed, 
they had gone into the City. All that had now fallen into 
disuse, or at least discredit. Addison had owed to Steele 
his acquaintance with a Yorkshire baronet's younger son, 
Thomas Morecraft, who figured iri the Spectator, as iWill 
Wimble. This elderly youn'g gentleman of between 
forty and fifty lived vety comfortably at home on his 
elder brother, acting as a sort of head gamekeeper. 
Extremely well versed in all an idle man's little handi- 
crafts, he makes fishing-rods or ties May flies for the 
young sportsmen of the whole countryside, with the same 
skill, readiness, and good-nature as he knits pairs of 
garters for their mothers or sisters. iWill Wimble is but 
a typical case of the 'junior brothers who had rather see 
their children starve like gentlemen than thrive in a 
trade or profession beneath their quality. Such persons 
as these helped to fill several parts of Europe with pride 
and beggary. Not that Wimble, as the typical stay-at- 
home cadet of his family, had always been above earning 
a livelihood in town like his social inferiors ; he has, 
indeed, tried physic, law, and commerce. None of them 
suited him, so he returned to the family, acres.' In these 
pen-and-ink sketches Addison's object was not satire, but 
the promotion of a better feeling between the territorial 
order in all its degrees and varieties and the upper 
jniddle classes in towns. Once, he argued, let those of 

' spectator, No. lo8. 



80 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

iWill iWimble's occupation and rank note the spread of a 
gentleman's feeling, taste, and breeding among the better 
sort of urban people, the two orders would soon learn 
to respect, to appreciate, and even like each other. 

In Addison's day, little more than half a century had 
passed since the era of the Restoration. The bad taste, 
left by the journalism it encouraged, had to be taken out 
of the mouth of respectability. That was an accomplish- 
ment which, in conjunction with the peacemaking services 
to society at large rendered jointly or individually by 
the two men, made the newspaper in Addison's and 
Steele's hands a purifying as well as a reconstructive 
force. The eighteenth century, was really a period not 
more of analysis or disintegration than of building up. 
From it dates the England of to-day, with all its charac- 
teristic fusion of aristocracy and plutocracy, both in some 
measure refined and spiritualised by the instrument of 
culture into which the Spectator men helped to trans- 
form the newspaper. Throughout the Stuart epoch, the 
reading class had been chiefly drawn from the titled 
aristocracy. That order long afterwiards continued to 
supply the patron, who was as necessary to the writer as 
the bookseller. One good result of Addison's efforts at 
removing class antagonisms in the way already described, 
and organising an intelligent public opinion equally con- 
tributed to by all social orders, was that the well-to-do 
City, merchant who lived in Russell Square began to vie 
with the nobility of Mayfair in their encouragement to 
writers of all kinds, not excepting the newspaper men 
and other varieties of the long despised " political hacks." 
In 1753 Edward Moore, long noticeable for his versatility 
and thoroughtiess in all kinds of literary tast work, started 
The Worid. Atnong his patrician volunteer contributors 
was Lord Chesterfield. His pen and name together did 
much towards raising the periodical press in fashionable 
consideration. Under Queen Anne and George I., there- 
fore, a variety of personal performances, of very different 
kinds, combined to win recognition for the nascent news- 
paper. No department or interest of daily life was too 
complex or commonplace for journalists of the Spectator 
type. The earliest royal edict against the corruption 
of the stage had been issued in 1697^. But only a small 
minority of the public showed signs of being in earnest 



DEFOE TO ADDISON 81 

ill the matter. THd cletgy; were fearful lest tKe expidsioii 
of grossness from the theatre should mean the return of 
Puritanism to the Church. By, shirking their duties as 
guardians of the public morals, they unconsciously cor£- 
tributed to the fulfilment of Defoe's prediction more 
than a generation earlier, that the time was soon coming 
when the services which the pulpit owed to the community 
and ignored would be effectively performed by the press. 
Of this prophecy Defoe lived to see the verification. 
The Spectator for May 15, 171 1, contains Steele's protest 
against a theatrical dispensation under which no modest 
woman entered a playhouse without first hiding! her face 
beneath a mask. The play that called forth these literally 
accurate remarks were Sir George "Etherege's The Man 
of Mode. No characters appear in this drama, writes 
Steele, but what are low and mean. The hero Dorimant, 
intended as the fine gentleman of the piece, is a direct 
knave in his designs and a clown in his language. The 
foremost lady, Mrs. Harriot, laughs at obedience to 
parents, at purity in womanhood, and at loyalty, in 
marriage. The whole piece is a perfect contradiction to 
good manners, good sense, and common honesty. This 
protest might have produced no or little effect but for 
the earlier efforts of Addison's conciliatory, pen, which 
now ensured its address to a homogeneous public, whose 
chief and, at the beginning, mutually discordant elements, 
the rural, the urban, the moneyed and the landed men,, had, 
largely by the Spectator essays, been consolidated into a 
imity both of sense and sentiment. Before Johnson, if not 
before Addison and Steele, had disappeared, they and 
their fellow-labourers, even in the embryonic stage in 
which it then existed, had given the newspaper a reputa- 
tion and an authority that made its alliance courted 
not more by the politician than by the philanthropist or 
divine. Joseph Addison and John Wesley had been con- 
temporaries at Charterhouse ; they overlapped each other 
at Oxford. Wesley had been among the first to recognise 
the beauty of Addison's religious poems as well as the 
elevating tendency of his more serious prose. He now 
exhorted his followers to secure Addison's support for 
those movements, social or religious, for giving practical 
effect to the principles on which Christianity itself was 
based. 

6 



CHAPTER IV 

THE EVOLUTION OF THE LEADER. FROM JONATHAN SWIFT 
TO PHILIP FRANCIS 

Walpole's use of the newspaper — Wholesale " inspiration " — Growth of the 
Opposition press — The Fourth Estate as a political power — Editorial con- 
ferences in place of Cabinet Councils — King and his colleagues of the 
Examiner — Nicholas Amhurst — Early pasquinades against the Tories — 
Editorship of the Tory Craftsman — Contrast between Bolingbroke and 
Swift — ^Bolingbroke establishes the " big bow-wow " style of journalism — 
Swift's satirical genius coloured by years of dependence and association with 
lower classes — ^A pamphleteer first and journalist afterwards — Early articles 
for Steele's Toiler — Political writings and beliefs — Presage of the Young 
England movement' — Success and importance of his Conduct of the Allies, 
1 7 10 — Henry Fielding — His social advantages and education — Penniless in 
London — Captain Hercules Vinegar — Writings for the stage — ^Two political 
burlesques result in the closing of his theatre — Newspaper writing — Gibes at 
Jacobitism — Thomas Holcroft — Tobias Smollett — The "slashing" article — 
His Briton opposed by the North Briton — Early career of John Wilkes — 
Characteristics of the newspaper of his day — Dr. Johnson on Wilkes — 
Johnson's parliamentary reports — His periodical essays — Popular topics for 
discussion in the Idler — Influence of Johnsonese on later newspaper diction 
— The Woodfall family and the Public Advertiser — Appearance of Junius — 
Philip Francis in Parliament — Did Francis write the Letters of Junius'} — 
His whole career a preparation for his contributions to the press — Junius's 
aims and success. 

The earliest example of the journalist's encourage- 
ment or even recognition by the statesman was, it has 
been seen, set by, Lord Burleigh under Elizabeth and 
James. The Queen openly tuned the pulpits ; discreetly 
stationed in the background, the Minister inspired the 
press. .Of Addison's service in the Whig cause in Parlia- 
ment and press, enough has been already said. The jour- 
nalist chiefly associated with the Hanoverian dynasty's 
establishment is a man whose performances, literary and 
journalistic, give him a place next to Addison. Not, 
indeed, that the author of Tom Jones stood in the same 
relation to Sir Robert Walpole as the creator of Sir 

8 



SWIFT TO PHILIP FRANCIS 83 

Roger de Coverley had stood towards Halifax, Godolphin, 
and the other Whig chiefs of his day. Fielding, indeed, 
wrote leaders in the Champion to help Walpole. He was 
never, however, one of the many writers regularly kept by 
Walpole, who had then at his call, stationed at different 
points between Whitehall and Blackfriars, relays of hack 
pamphleteers, each pen in hand ready to be called up. 
Walpole's method was to supply the selected scribe with 
a copious and minute brief. With his own haiid he wrote 
down all the details necessary for an exact imderstanding 
of the situation and the issues. Next the Minister set 
forth, in their exact order of iniportance, the arguments 
which should, he thought, be deduced from the facts; 
in support of his case. Then followed the objections 
which his antagonist might raise, the answers which would 
dispose of them, or the statements by which they might 
be anticipated. When, therefore, Walpole used the 
•" reptile " pressmen of his period, he left, it will be 
seen, little enough to their ingenuity, and trusted them: 
only so far as he could rely on their being" his exact niouth- 
pieces. Frequently he contrived to avoid a personal 
meeting with the Grub Street drudge, and managed 
through his secretaries not only the individual writers, 
but the collective newspapers in his pay. He controlled 
and salaried the anonymous editor of the Daily Gazetteer, ; 
that print formed the centre of an entire newspaper 
system. In connection with it were some dozen journals. 
To those offshoots of the parent stem the Gazetteer's 
managers passed on the word of command from White- 
hall. When, therefore, Walpole called the press unani- 
mous in his support, it only meant that he had bought 
up every newspaper which seemed worth his money. 

If the price thus paid brought the Whig Adininistration 
a substantial return, on the other side, during the twenty - 
one years of the Tories' exclusion from office (1721-42) 
the journalist was life and soul of the Opposition ; for 
Walpole's assailants drew from the Examiner first and 
the Craftsman afterwards the organisation and the spirit 
that animated the series of movements leading up to his 
fall, and so preparing the way for Granville and the 
Pelhams. The political influence conferred by twenty 
thousand a year did not prevent the Tory leader, 
Pulteney, from courting the addition to his authority that 



84 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

might come from the Craftsman's editorial control. At 
this time ho reports were published of the speeches made 
ill Parliament by the men who governed the country. 
The opinions and arguments of the people's represen- 
tatives on points of State policy at home and abroa^d 
were often' best gathered from the essays and articles 
into which their ideas had been distilled. Halifax, we 
have seen, had insisted to Addison on the importance 
of curtailirig his observations on passing events. In 
other words, he was to write not even short pamphlets 
but short articles. Instructions like those of Halifax 
to Addison were impressed by the editor King, after due 
conference with his political chiefs, on all contributors 
to the Examiner (1710). Sixteen years later, they were 
reiterated by Pulteriey to the contribtitors of the Crafts- 
mdn. The work thus produced, as regards length, arrange- 
ment, and number of paragraphs, closely conforms to 
the modern: " leader " pattern. Atterbury, Bolingbroke, 
and Swift, therefore, produced in the Examiner a Tory 
print arranged and managed in much the same way as, 
nearly a hundred and fifty years later, was to be 
exemplified by the Press, conducted by Benjamin Disraeli 
and an editorial committee, with Mr. T. Kebbel as literar;y 
adviser and aide-de-camp. The Examiner's first editor 
was Dr. William King, who did his work so well that 
the Tory chiefs, on regaining power, secured "him the 
principalship of St. Mary's Hall, Oxford. King per- 
formed an editor's first duty by writing nothing himself, 
but by skilfully pointing the gun which his contributors 
were to fire. His staff included Arbuthnot, St. John 
(Bolingbroke), and Swift. Pulteney's contest with 
kWalpole was fought out even more in the columns of 
the Craftsman than on the floor of St. Stephens. The 
Examiner's or the Craftsman's editorial conferences grad- 
ually became indistinguishable from Opposition Cabinets, 
determining as they did not only on the policy of a 
paper, on articles and their writers, but on an entire 
party's control. The ninth volume of Mr. Temple Scott's 
edition of Swift (Bell & Son) contains the '' terrible 
Dean's" best contributions to this paper. They all of 
them show, Swift, not as an essayist addressing readers 
of leisure, but as the article -writer whonl the man of 
business wants. Thus, throughout Sir Robert Walpole's 



SWIFT TO PHILIP FRANCIS 85 

long reign, the centre of Tory gravity had been with- 
drawn from Parliament and, by Boliiigbroke and Swift 
more than by any two others, fixed in the press. The 
Fourth Estate, indeed, had now. made itself part of the 
machinery of State, and its official representative, King, 
may be considered to head the list of Carlyle's " able 
editors." Even Pulteney's literary skill and taste and 
Swift's genius required for full efficiency King's technical 
discipline. In the nineteenth century the forgotten 
Peelite Morning Chronicle was the training school for 
the clever writers who began to make the Saturday 
Review. So, under Queen Anne and the early Georges, 
the most effective members of the Examiner and Crafts- 
man staffs were grounded in the journalistic rudiments 
by men who actually had or might have bteen the pupils 
of Defoe. Thus, among the Tory editors who came after 
King, Applebee, the originator of a journal bearing his 
own name, had been much associated with Defoe, and 
as a consequence profoimdly influenced by him ; for 
though Defoe traditionally bears the >Whig label, as a: 
journalist he never wore the Whig livery,' and was quite 
as ready to serve Harley as Godolphin when he thought 
the Tories had a better case than the iWhigs. In 1709 
Sacheverell's impeachment drove Defoe openly to the 
Tories, and kept him with them exactly so long as office 
gave them patronage. But long before then he had beell 
quite as ready upon occasion to do their work as that 
of the iWihigs. In fact, Defoe's frequent secret missions 
abroad were made as often for a Tory paymaster as a 
iWhig. The result of his association with Applebee was 
the evolution of a journal more closely resembling the 
twentieth -century society weekly, than anything till then 
known. Qf the Defoe-Applebee sheet, the chief features < 
were early intelligence of State affairs at home and 
abroad, relieved by lighter talk from the coulisses of 
continental diplomacy. Readers must be introduced to 
the company and conversation of fashionable drawing- 
rooms, as well as admitted behind the scenes of states - 

• Defoe's vindications of his complete independence as a writer of either party 
are more wordy and less felicitous than might be expected from so clever a man. 
They amount, however, to a declaration that he is equally against extremists on 
either side, and that, like Augustus Tomlinson in Paul Clifford, he intends 
definitely to settle down as a Moderate Whig. 



86 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Manship. Above all, no class of readers must Ke bored 
arid so estranged by undue space being allotted to any 
class of subject. Therefore the comments must be kept 
short, so that the appetite may be piqued rather than 
satiated. Upon Applebee party ties did not sit so loosely 
as on Defoe, but kept him throughout consistently loyal 
to the Tories. In this he present^ a piarked contrast 
to another Tory journalist of the time — Nicholas Amhurst, 
first editor of the Craftsman, Taest Imown by his pen 
name, Caleb Danvers. Amhurst was a type of the 
journalistic adventurer in the period to which he 
belonged. He had begun with pasquinades against the 
Tories in the iQxford TerrcB filius. He is next seen 
coming cap in hand to Pulteney for employment on the 
latest jTory sheet. The literary, committee then, as has 
been seen, conducting in the press their war against the 
NW-higs, put Amhurst into the Cmftsman' s editoirial chair ; 
Pulteney, however, trusted him no further than he could 
see him, and never relaxed his control over the paper. 
At the same time Amhurst, beyond doubt, made himself 
particularly useful to Bolingbroke, and invented for him; 
the literary machinery which gave originality and strength 
to the demmciations of vWalpole. Among the articles in 
which Bolingbroke profited by Amhurst's ideas was one 
called the Occasional Writer^; in this the introduction 
of a literary hireling, as one of the Prinae Minister's pen- 
^nd-ink brigade, provides on opening for a dialogue 
deriving its novelty and point from personal epigrams 
a.gainst iWalpole condensing into themselves the gall of 
Bolingbroke's bitterness, but receiving their literary finish 
from Amhurst's master touch.' Notwithstanding the mis- 
conduct which caused his expulsion from Oxford Univer- 

' Walpole did not receive these literary attacks without sometimes being stung 
into answering with abundant spirit and violence, but with little of the finish 
which Bolingbroke's invective owed largely to Amhurst's editing. There seems 
to be no reason for such a supposition, but it is conceivable that Amhurst, in 
some sore extremity, may have earned a literary wage from Walpole. That would 
explain expressions in Walpole's rejoinder like the following : " You are an 
infamous fellow, perjured, ungrateful, unfaithful," &c. Among the latest 
authorities on this subject, Mr. Churton Collins and Mr. Temple Scott have 
been at issue. Mr. Scott takes the view adopted in the present footnote. 
Mr. Churton Collins, on the other hand, ^3:eeing with older writers on the 
subject, believed the Occasional Writer not to have appeared in the Craftsman, 
but to have been an independent pamphlet. 



SWIFT TO PHILIP FRANCIS 87 

sity and all the infamous charges made a.gainst him], 
Amhurst, beyond any press personage so far mentioned 
in these pages, had the special gift of editorship. He 
not only knew what would '' take " with the public ; he 
was extraordinarily skilful in adding those touches which 
turned a moderately good but commonplace into a first- 
rate and striking article. In My Novel the out -at -elbows, 
tipsified Bohemian, John Burley, writes pamphlets which 
make Cabinet Ministers famous. In the case of the 
Craftsman, Amhurst's was often the clayfield out of 
which their bricks were really made by the Tory leaders 
in statesmanship and letters. Everi Pulteney's work for 
the Craftsman and his occasional pamphlets owed only 
less to editor Amhurst than did Bolingbroke. 

Jonathan Swift, whose life and work are interwoven 
so closely with Bolingbroke's, had much less, if indeed 
anything, to do with the Craftsman under Amhurst than 
he had sixteen years earlier with the Examiner imder 
King." The differences, as well as the resemblances, 
between Bolingbroke and Swift are reflected in their 
literary, styles. Both iwrote about State affairs with 
an air of authority befitting men whose natural 
place was behind the scenes, who belonged to, or 
lived in intimacy, with, the men who created events 
and made the history of the world from day to day. 
Like his longer pieces, the Essay on History and the 
Patriot King, Bolingbroke's contributions to the 
Examiner, and still more to the Craftsman, are the work of 
a writer always in full dress. His jrouthful ambition was 
still at its height whai he stopped short at self-advertise- 
ment and called it fame. His admirers had named him 
the English Alcibiades. To complete the justice of the 
compliment, he proceeded in profligacy even more than in 
philosophy to model himself after his Athenian prototype, 
summoning to his confidence Swift by way of the best 
substitute he could get for Socrates. From that time 

' The most active years of Swift's newspaper life closed with his promotion to 
the Deanery of St. Patrick's. His relations with the Craftsman are explained by 
Swift himself in 1ms Answer to the Craftsman (1730), under these circumstances. 
Walpole's Administration had given to French recruiting in Ireland what the 
Tories called unpatriotic opportunities. These were, of course, denounced by the 
Craftsman. In his little tract Swift, while not committing himself in all things to 
the policy of the Craftsman, expresses bis general sympathy with it and strongly 
approves it in this particular instance. 



88 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

the lines of teacher and pupil, patron and client, present 
something of a parallel as well as more of a contrast 
to each other. Bolingbroke desisted from parading his 
debauchery when he had done with its uses as a bid 
for notoriety. He then travelled in high state abroad, 
only, however, associating with the aristocracy of rank 
or intellect. Thus he never condescended to that notice 
of his inferiors in European countries which would really 
have sent him back to England a wiser and a better 
informed man than when he left it. The one possession 
he acquired during these years was such a mastery of the 
French language that Voltaire acknowledged the English 
visitor's critical acquaintance with the language spoken 
in the salons of Paris to be greater than his own. It 
was with his literary accomplishments as with his 
social experiences. Mixing only with the rich and 
great abroad, Bolingbroke reappeared among his allies 
of the Craftsman a more impressive master than ever 
of the grand style. He was of course confirmed in his 
indifference to the tastes of the " vulgar." Even 
Pulteney's diction could on occasion blend with periods 
of classical mould an infusion of the Anglo-Saxon ver- 
nacular. That formed the element which, ignored by 
Bolingbroke but carefully cultivated by Swift, and im- 
proved in his case through personal contact with hisi 
humblest fellow-travellers, won for Gulliver's creator the 
ear of thousands who knew nothing about the Letter to Sir 
William Windham. Always intelligible to a careful 
reader, Bolingbroke considered a certain grandiloquence, 
or something closely approaching to it, a part of the 
senatorius decor, to use a phrase he sometimes em- 
ployed, proper to a speaker or writer whose genius for 
oratory and success in intrigue had brought him to a peer- 
age. In such a work as the present, and for the general 
reader, the interest belonging to this remarkable repre- 
sentative of his age and class comes from the fact that, 
more impressively and effectively than had been done by 
the most gifted of his predecessors, he established a 
tradition of union between responsible statesmanship in 
its most ambitious aspects, and periodical letters in their 
jnost popular form, as the statesnoan's instrument and ally. 
With this favourite of fortime, contended for by states - 
jnanship, literature, and philosophy^ decorating all that 



SWIFT TO PHILIP FRANCIS 89 

he touched with his patrician hand, contrast the penniless 
genius of English family who had come into the world 
with the grievance of having, as he himself put it, been 
" dropped in Ireland." Purely English on both parental 
sides. Swift can have had in his brains nothing Irish 
beyond what came from his school and college training. 
The dependence which he cursed, first on his uncle 
Godwin, then on Temple at Moor Park, afterwards on 
Lord Berkeley at Dublin Castle, and even the poverty 
which often drove him into strange or vile companionship, 
were to develop the pitilessly, searching insight into human 
nature, the grim humour, the weird irony, and the power 
not of epigram-coining but of giving strong ideas ex- 
pression in direct and forcible English, that did more 
than any of Bolingbroke's philosophic declamation, of 
Atterbury's essays, of Arbuthnot's satire, or of Mat Prior's 
witty, whimsicalities, to make the E.xarniner, to say nothing 
of other sheets, not only, the delight of Button's ^.n^ 
Will's, as well as the favourite reading of fashionable 
parlours and ante-rooms, but intellectual food such as 
could be digested with ease and delight by the multitude . 
No man of his day combined, with sound education and 
an often unsuspected amount of miscellaneous know- 
ledge, so quick or accurate a perception of the popular 
taste, and so shrewd a knowledge when to gratify it by 
broad touches of generalisation and when by the skilful 
marshalling of elaborate detail. The secret of Swift's 
power is that of a much later writer too, from whom he 
differed in every possible respect. Charles Dickens made, 
as in due place will be seen, several notable journalists 
without being, like Swift, a great journalist himself. 
He and Swift, however, resemble each other in that by 
pen and ink they convey to paper not merely their 
impressions and experiences, but their own selves. Thus 
the satire and irony, of Swift, the life and character 
sketches of Dickens, are not only, transcripts from' reality 
but do themselves quiver with feeling, throb and vibrate 
with life. Does Swift wish to arouse the indignation 
of his readers at the wrong inflicted on Ireland by 
'' Wood's halfpence " or rWalpole's enrichment of himself 
and of his stockjobbing' friends bj prolonging that war 
Sidth France which eats out the vitals of national well- 
being>; he makes the reader feel Ke is himself a man the 



90 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

hardly-wori accumulations of whose industry have been 
sacrificed to the greed of the moneyed class. So the 
coarse realism with which he outdoes Fielding or Smollett 
in the descriptive passages, both of his articles and books, 
implies a reminiscence of those days when he sat below 
the salt with scullion boys and kitchen maids, and con- 
sidered it promotion to be admitted to the housekeeper's 
room or the butler's pantry. In this way he collected 
the material for the bitter piece of homely satire, the 
Directions to Servants in General, and, as the sub -title 
specifies, particularly the domestic menials beginning with 
the butler and ending with the tutor and governess. 
Swift, with meaningless absurdity, has been called the 
prince of journalists. He filled, of course, a great place 
in the evolution of the English newspaper, but, even of his 
shorter compositions, the most effective, such as that 
just mentioned, appeared not in journalistic but in 
pamphlet form, the explanation being that Swift had a 
greater impatience even than Bolingbroke of anything 
like editorial control. Among his eighteenth -century 
contemporaries of the pen. Swift surpassed Smollett, as 
in the coarseness of his descriptions so in his intense 
bitterness against Whig statesmen, culminating in Swift's 
case in the detestation of Walpole, for whom, to please 
Bolingbroke, he invented the name " Sir Bluestring." ' 
Swift also resembled the Tory Smollett, as, indeed, the 
iWhig Fielding too, in not meddling with newspapers till 
his reputation in general literature had been won. Not 
till five years after writing the Tale of a Tub and 
the Battle of the Books did he make his first contribution 
to Steele's Tatter. The subject of his earliest piece 
was purely social, and might well have been taken by 
Addison himself for one of his own Spectators. It is, 
indeed, a little satirical essay about the superior ladies 
who, wearying of the world, professed an admiration 
for purely Platonic love. Incidentally the trifle is not 
without some historical value, because it hits off several 
of the smaller celebrities and most characteristic humours 
of the time not mentioned elsewhere. During 1710 the 
pen that six years earlier had producjed two of the greatest 
satires ;in the English language first dipped itself into 

' The reference being to Walpole's blue ribbon as Knight of the Garter. 



SWIFT TO PHILIP FRANCIS 91 

the ink of politics. The paper itself had been started 
during August ; Swift's contribution was held over till 
the following October. L'Estrange's Observator, an 
entire generation earlier, excepted, the Examiner is the 
earliest instance of a paper entirely enjoying the con- 
fidence of the Ministry and run with the single purpose 
of supporting the Government of the day. Of party 
journalists, Swift was the first to perceive and act upon 
the truth that the only newspaper whose support can 
really help a public man or advance a policy is that 
which awards praise or blame on the groimd of 
public merit or the reverse. His method, as he 
himself put it, was to refer special acts of policy to 
first principles of statesmanship and, having done this, 
to larrive at the conclusions justifying the Tories and 
proving whatever the iWhigs did or intended to be wrong. 
Swift, it has been seen, though rightly considered a 
great journalistic force in his day, was really himself 
less of a newspaper man than of an essayist or 
pamphleteer. '\V3iatever he may be called, the 'great 
fact to remember is that the independence which gave 
his pen its political value contributed in the same pro- 
portion to reflect fresh credit and influence upon |the 
whole class of writers for the periodical press. Mere 
accident like that of having been born in Ireland 
had caused Swift to start as a Whig. Hating popery, he 
detested or despised James II. and all the Stuarts as its 
adherents. Directly, however, he saw the Church of 
England might lopk for more from the Tories than from 
their opponents, his connection with the iWhigs ceased. 
Before Swift no political writer had shown such indiffer- 
ence to patronage or employment by political chiefs . His 
superiority to such considerations first raised him above 
the level of party hacks, and then proved instrumental 
in lifting Swift's branch of the writing profession to 
a higher plane ^ iWhen Swift began on the periodical 
press, the journalist's status may be judged from the fact 
that Samuel Johnson had been commended for bracketing 
the scribbler for a party and the Commissioner of Excise 
as the two lowest of all human beings. Fielding's co- 
editor pf the Champion, of which more will be said 
presently, J^aeg Ralph, was, originally a merchapt's clerk 
in AsJerica. He was held to have degraded himself when 



92 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

he took to journalism, as other ne'er-do-wells take to 
drink. The notes to the Dunciad state that James Ralph, 
though rating himself above Mr. Addison, was really- 
illiterate and ended " in the common sink of all such 
writers, a political newspaper." Yet many a newspaper 
man of the time, with no more of education and ability 
than Ralph, managed to do tolerably well. Sir John 
Hill had such success in inducing editors and publishers 
to take him at his own estimate as in a single year to 
make fifteen hundred pounds. Between 1731 and 1741 
■Walpole distributed more than fifty thousand pounds 
among his penmen. Still the newspaper man's vocation 
seldom brought him into creditable notice before Swift's 
genius had elevated the calling. The fairness as .well 
as the ability of Swift's pen won him! the ear as much 
of those he attacked as of those he praised. His handling 
in the Examiner of the Duke of Marlborough explains 
better than any other single composition both his 
popularity, with the crowd and the absence of serious 
resentment on the part of many, criticised in his lighter 
vein. The sonorous Billingsgate, whose floods the 
Examiner and Craftsman opened against Walpole, was 
the joint work of Amhurst and Bolingbroke rather than 
Swift. Swift's influence upon newspaper diction has 
shown itself continuously from his own time to the present 
day, and, as will hereafter be seen, particularly affected 
three nineteenth -century journalists of repute : F. Green- 
wood, iW. H. Mudford, and H. D. Traill, but always aS 
a simplifying and condensing agency and never as a 
stimulus to rhetoric. To resume Swift's literary, treat- 
ment of the great captain. Let Crassus, as Swift apostro- 
phises Marlborough, go among the common people of 
Rome ; let him walk about his own camp, to hear at every 
tent every mouth censuring, lamenting, cursing this vice 
of infatuation for gold. Let not his flatterers prevent 
him from thus increasing his self-knowledge. Then will 
come a cure for his fatal greediness. He will be a 
truly great man, even though there may stiU remain 
imperfections enough to remind us he is not a god. Till 
Marlborough, to whom Swift grudgeis no glory, should 
act on this advice, the nation would continue to groan 
under the intolerable burden of those who sucked her 
blood for their own gain. In other wor'ds, we shall be 



SWIFT TO PHILIP FRANCIS 93 

doomed to carry on wars that we may fill the pockets of 
stockjobbers. For what shall we have revised our con- 
stitution, and have secured our Protestant succession? 
— why, only that we may become tools of a faction who 
arrogate to themselves the whole merit of what was 
a national act . Even already we are govertied by upstarts 
who are unsettling our social system's landmarks, and 
are displacing the influence of our landed gentry by that 
of men who find profit in our woes. Really, exclaims 
Swift, the art of government is not the importation of nut- 
megs and the curing of herrings. Rather is it the 
political embodiment of the will of a Parliament freely 
chosen without threatening or corruption, and composed 
of landed men. That last expression gives the keynote 
to Swift's writing in the Examiner. Wdth the disputes 
of Whigs and Tories as rival claimants for power he is 
comparatively unconcerned. His first, and indeed almost 
his only care is to uphold' those whose interests, being 
in the soil, make them at one with the interests of those 
who live on the soil. A territorial Tory aristocracy was 
from' Swift's point of view the only, antidote to the baiie 
of the plutocratic oligarchy which had been the mush- 
room growth of the foreign wars. Here Swift was not 
so much echoing Bolingbroke as putting in language, 
more effective because more universally intelligible, ideas 
that Bolingbroke was afterwards to incorporate in his 
political philosophy. Dressed in' phraseology varied to 
suit the time, such utterances were to constitute one of 
Swift's most vital though least acknowledged legacies to 
political thought. For it was Swift's presentation in the 
Artglo -Saxon vernacular of Bolingbroke's fine and high 
Tory aphorisms in the Patriot King which, with the neces- 
sary verbal alterations, became the -' Yoimg England " 
watchwords in 1842, and which, invested with fresh and 
attractive embellishments by Disraeli and Bulwer-Lytton, 
were to be the secret of the incomparable successes of 
the Primrose League. Long before then, however, the 
notions first struck out by Swift in the terse sentences 
already quoted had been' echoed at Westminster by the 
most approved specimens of Tory, eloquence in its more 
serious moods. A hundred and thirty years after Swift's 
contributions to the Examiner, the Tory membter for 
Oxford University, Sir R. H. Inglis, exemplified the 



94 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

orator's frequent debt to the 'journalist when he diluted 
Swift's sentiment into " I respect the aristocracy of birth, 
the aristocracy of learning, the aristocracy of intellect, but 
not the aristocracy of wealth." The truth, indeed, is that, 
as Socrates is known from^ Plato, so any popular acquaint- 
ance with the views of Bolingbroke in politics or philo- 
sophy comes mainly from Swift. Bolingbroke's pen would 
have sufficed to give the Examiner a fashionable vogue. 
IWithout Swift's it would never have touched or reached 
the masses. 

The newspaper man who thus proved himself a 
popular power was no" sooner courted and feared 
by the great than the possibilities of journalism began 
to show themselves in a light as favourable as it was 
entirely new. In all this one sees Samuel Johnson's 
meaning when he says that Swift dictated for a time the 
political opinions of the English people. iWith Addison 
Swift had first become acquainted in Ireland. The two 
always remained on good terms. In their capacity of 
writers for the press they were not, as a fact, pitted 
against each other. Even the clash of two papers by 
the same name, respectively employing Swift and Addison, 
did not bring the two men into personal collision ; for by 
the time that Swift began his work on the original, the 
Tory Examiner, its W^hig rival of the same title started by 
Addison had come to an end.' Thus it was not Addison 
but Defoe who diversified one of his panegyrics on 
Wdlliam III . by, some depreciation of the Drapier Letters. 
Even the newspaper controversies raised by the negotia- 
tions for the Peace of Utrecht did not directly ernbroil 
Addison and Swift. During the August of 17,10 the 
defeat of the Whig Ministers imder Nottingham and 
Godolphin had brought in the Tories under Bolingbroke 
and Harley (now Earl of Oxford). If the new men were 
to keep their places, there must be an immediate end 
to the popular enthusiasm roused b_y Marlborou_gh's 
victories, and the nation must be made to feel that the 
return of the Wihigs would mean its own misery, jand 

' The dates" involvedjn the',|journalistic transactions now mentioned contain 
proof of the statement made. The Whig Examiner, started by Addison in 
opposition to the Bolingbroke-Swift Examiner, ceased to appear on October S, 
1710. That was three weeks before the beginning of Swift's connection with the 
Tor Examiner on November 2. 



SWIFT TO PHILIP FRANCIS 95 

ruin. The country's one chance of salvation was to give 
those it had now placed in power a mandate for pushing 
on the peace negotiations with France aind to refu^Se 
all overtures from' the Wihig vultures who throve on the 
calamities of an artificially protracted campaign. All 
the signs of the time were against the new Administration. 
In Parliament, though by, a small ma!jority, Nottingham 
had carried a motion dead against all peace projects. 
So far back as February, 1710, Swift's comparison 
mentioned above of Marlborough with Crassus had set 
the great General's reputation, and with it his popularity, 
tottering. At the same time Amhurst and one or two 
more of the Tory writers put it about that the commander, 
with his secretary Cardonnel, had received perquisites 
far beyond those which even a corrupt custom would 
allow. This was the momemit chosen by Swift for 
his tract on the Conduct of the. Allies and of the late 
Ministry in conducting the present War. This broadsheetj 
little longer than a modem leadinig article, produced so 
great and so immediate an effect that within six weeks 
Marlborough had fallen, and a creation of twelve new 
peers secured the way to the Peace of Utrecht. Nearly 
fifteen thousand copies were sold in half that number of 
weeks, and this, as Johnson says, at a time when we 
were not yet a " nation of readers." 

On the 'Whig side, Addison's mantle, so far as it 
descended to any single writer, had fallen upon the author 
of Tom Jones. Henry Fielding's father, General Fielding, 
of Sharphami Park, Glastonbury, had served in the field 
under Marlborough, and had brought up his son with an 
adtoiratioa for his old commander which coloured the 
novelist's remarks upon the great captain when, in the 
Champign first and the True Patriot afterwards, he pro- 
vided what was intended to dispel the memory, of Tory, 
attacks like those of Swift upon the conqueror of Blen- 
heim. No newspaper man so far had come to his work 
with social and personal advantages equal to Fielding's. 
Born into the governing class, he had for his contem- 
poraries at Etoii Lord Lyttelton, Sir Charles Hanbury 
iWilliams, Henry Fox, the first Lord Holland, and two 
future leading Ministers, Chatham and Wilmington . Not 
less in his articles than in his novels he drew his characters 
and his argunjients from everyday experiences pf Ufe, 



96 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Many of his newspaper writings, signed " Captain Hercules 
Vinegar," were the rough studies for the most effective 
passages of satirical description or comment in the novels 
whose "' exquisite picture of humaii manners " caused 
Gibbon to say that they would outlive the palace of the 
Escurial and the imperial eagle of Austria. From the 
Hapsburg Counts, afterwards the Austrian Emperors, the 
Fielding family drew its descent. His illustrious lineagte 
and connections did not prevent him, at the close of his 
Eton days, of a course at Leyden University, and of a 
ramble round Europe, finding himself almost penniless in 
London. Then, as now, the most remunerative opportu- 
nities to a clever writer were presented by the stage. 
As a playwright, while achieving no great success, 
Fielding did better than he expected. Bold, witty 
dialogue and spirited repartee were never his strongest 
points. His conscious weakness in these respects during 
his raw youth caused him some secret surprise that The 
Fathers, in which he had been helped by Garrick, and 
A Provoked Husband both escaped failure. Then 
followed a long tale of dramatic hack work, adaptation, 
and translation, including The Temple Beau in 1728. 
That was the year of his first marriage. His connection 
with the theatre came to a close ; the very, tradition of 
it was perpetuated only by the label with which his last 
play provided its author, who became known in fashion- 
able circles as -' Beau Fielding." While visiting Rome, 
Fielding heard about the fifteenth -century cobbler, noted 
for his caustic remarks and bitter sayings. After his 
death the building that had been his shop became an 
emporium for the epigrams and satires of the time, known 
consequently as pasquinades. The Pasquin inspiration 
moved Fielding to prepare for the stage his two satirical 
burlesques, Pasquin first and the Historical Register after- 
wards. The gibes at the Government of the day, of which 
these pieces largely consisted, caused the authorities to 
interfere, and both productions to be withdrawn. The 
playhouse that had witnessed the representations was 
closed. The dramatist transformed himself into the news- 
paper-writer. In his capacity of journalist. Fielding, 
as has been already said, never took Walpole's shilling. 
His columns, however, were always brightest, and he 
himself at his best, when heaping contempt on the 



SWIFT TO PHILIP FRANCIS 97 

assailants of the Whig leaders and of the Hanoverian 
succession. In Tom Jones, Squire Western's abuse of 
•" rats generally, and of your Hanover breed in par- 
ticular," is only equalled in violence by his contempt 
for the Hanoverian politics which were personified in 
his sister, and which, by their nonsensical principles, 
have undone the nation. This outburst over, the Squire 
sent after his sister the same " holloa " which attends 
the departure of a hare when she is first started before 
the hounds. The next paragraph in the novel describes 
Western as a great master of this vociferation, with a 
holloa proper for most occasions in life.' Tarn Jones 
appeared in 1749. Most of the points in the caricature 
of the Tory squire now glanced at had done duty before 
then in the paragraphs contributed by Captain Vinegar 
to the Champion, the True Patriot or the Jacobite's 
Journal (1747). This, Fielding's latest newspaper venture, 
made more ferocious fun of Jacobitism in all its aspects 
than was done by the two earlier papers, or is seen even 
in Tom Jones. Fielding's Whiggism never secured him 
from his bitterest enemies the epithet of revolutionary. 
That was not so with a man belonging to ^ young^er 
generation, who, like Fielding, had composed plays before 
he manufactured leading articles, Thomas Holcroft, author 
of the once popular drama. The Road to Ruin. Holcroft, 
too, was among the earliest newspaper men who carried 
their liberalism much beyond the furthest point reached 
by their predecessors, and, in several little sheets unknown 
to-day even by name, established the first republican 
organs on the English press. Fielding was not the only 
father of the English novel who has a place among the 
inventors of the newspaper -' leader." Swift had never 
been a slashing writer. The first of Tory journalists to 
merit this description was Tobias Smollett, the novelist. 
A Tory and High Churchman, he brought in and made his 
own that variety of journalistic composition for which 
the Bungay of Pendennis said, " There's nobody like 
the capting." 2 The true ring of Captain Shandon's 
" slasher " may be caught in the following sentences 
from Smollett's denunciation of a certain naval notoriety 
of the time, in the Critical Review. " An admiral without 

' Tom Jones, Bk. VII. chap. iii. p. 313 (Bell's edition). 
" Pendenms (1886 edition), vol. i. chap, xxxii. p. 344. 

7 



98 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

conduct, an engineer without knowledge, an officer without 
resolution, and a man without veracity." The individual 
thus stigmatised. Admiral Knowles, had ftiade himself 
the pet aversion of the Tory hangers-on at the Court. 
Smollett's vituperation in the Critical Review called forth 
many congratulations to Bute on the discernment shown 
by him in importing such a master of abuse from Scot"- 
land to London. The attacks on his ministerial organs 
which had made Bute call Smollett to his rescue were 
delivered, in the bitterness of his heart and the emptiness 
of his stomach, by the above-mentioned Holcroft. The 
attacking paper was the openly republican Monitor, whose 
directors presented a droll picture of eighteenth-century 
newspaper life in its purely personal aspect >; for with 
Holcroft there were Entick, an ex -schoolmaster whose 
Redder arid dictionaries lived into the Victorian era, 
and Shebbeare, eventually the Monitor's editor, who, as 
a boy, had forfeited his apprenticeship to an apothecary 
by misconduct, had afterwards crowned his disgrace by 
taking to pen and ink, and becoming a newspaper hack. 
He ended, however, in the odour of respectability, if not 
of sanctity. A short term of imprisonment for lampoons 
on persons in power convinced him that republican 
journalism did not pay,. He did a suppliant's penance to 
the Minister and the Court, found odd literary jobs about 
the palace. He thus qualified himself for a pension of 
£200 a year^; after which he was heard of no imore. 
Meanwhile, the mian of the ministerial newspapers, the 
special abomination of the Grub Street demagogues, 
the novelist Smollett, was on the eve of a new journalistic 
departure. Like Fielding, he had begun with play-writ- 
ing, ; but he had only avoided starvation by becoming 
a surgeon on board ship. His wife's little fortune had 
been swallowed up by law-suits, but his newspaper work 
kept him afloat. In 17,62 Bute gave him the most 
remunerative and responsible employment he had yet 
found in the Briton. This title, of course, suggests the 
rival North Briton and John Wilkes. That, however, 
forms an episode too familiar, in connection with the 
political story of the time, for more than passing refer- 
ence here. No journalist now passed for conspicuously 
successful if he could not sting his enemies into organis- 
ing a hostile imitation of his own devices and works. 



SWIFT TO PHILIP FRANCIS 99 

Addison had been moved by Dr. King's hit with the Tory 
Examiner to run a Whig Examiner. In 1756 the Whig 
Test, under Johnson's biographer, Arthur Murphy, had 
no sooner made its appearance than it stimulated the 
Rev. Philip Francis, the father of " Junius," to follow 
it up with the Tory Con-Test, and so, a little later, as a 
reward of his services, to earn the chaplaincy of Chelsea 
Hospital. Again, till Bute brought out Smollett, the 
Tories had found no writer to do anything like Swift's 
work. In the natural order of things, therefore, Smollett's 
Briton was bound, as it actually did, to prove the signal 
for John iWilkes with his North Briton, born a few 
days after the Briton had been started. Wilkes himself 
began life not only with a grievartce, but with a sense 
of desperation that dipped his maiden pen in gall, and 
gave him all mankind for his enemy. Born of well-to-do 
Dissenting parents, he was excluded by. his origin from 
the English imiversities, then open to none but members 
of the national Church ; even could the clever lad have 
been smuggled into Oxford or Cambridge, the elder 
Wilkes would not long have allowed the risk of the young 
man's religious and political contamination by influences 
that might have tainted his nonconformist purity. The 
future editor of the North Briton, therefore, finished, 
as Fielding, had done, his education at Leyden, then the 
most popular of foreign universities. Whatever may 
have been learned or not learned by him at school or 
college, he had profited by the example of the blows 
for freedom and against privilege which Defoe in an 
earlier generation, and, in his own, the men who made 
the Monitor, had struck with their pens in the press . This 
explains his resolution himself to become the newspaper 
champion of democracy. If Smollett in the Briton slashed 
with a broadsword, Wilkes in the North Briton retaliated 
with a bludgeon. As to the literary qualities displayed 
by either combatant, they seldom rose above the level 
reached in their duel of reciprocal abuse by rival 
Eatanswill journalists in Pickwick. The latest descendant 
of the novelist lived till nearly the close of the last 
century. Those who can recall the oratorical style of 
Patrick Boyle Smollett in the House of Commons, includ- 
ing a description of the Irish members as " talking 
potatoes," and who have read his ancestor's journalistic 



100 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

invective, will recognise a family likeness between the 
styles of the two men. Five years before, in 1762, he 
started the North Briton, Wilkes had achieved notoriety 
in the House of Commons. That he should have cared to 
supplement his parliamentary opportunities with any 
newspaper enterprise shows how powerful a rival in 
influencing public opinion Fleet Street had now become 
to Westminster. To the modern eye, the biroadsheets of 
this period have a poverty-stricken and insignificant look, 
making it difficult to believe that they were ever a 
real power in the land. Their growing attraction for 
men like those now under consideration shows that to the 
hardest, shrewdest, and most ambitious spirits of the age, 
the newspaper seemed a means of winning distinction, 
power, and even wealth at least as promising as politics, 
diplomacy, or trade. The evolution of the leader has, 
in its earlier stages, been already followed. It was not 
to reach perfection till a date much later than that now 
reached. But the journalistic work done by Fielding, 
Smollett, and Wilkes shows each of these to have antici- 
pated with much cleverness and effect the occasional 
note, the descriptive report, and other features looked 
upon as specially characteristic of the twentieth -century 
press. As for any alleged inferiority on the part of the 
eighteenth-century to the most modem journals, it seems 
enough to say that, from Defoe to Delane, the newspaper 
article has seldom failed to reflect the virtues as well as 
the failings of contemporary style. J. S. Mill and 
Macaulay have, perhaps, done more than any two other 
men to fix the standard of the best jouirnalism of the 
present time. The sheets in which Smollett, Wilkes, 
and others exchanged Billingsgate, reflected the prevail- 
ing literary taste and temper of the time neither more 
nor less faithfully than the spirit of Macaulay and Mill 
was caught by the best writers for the press of the 
Victorian age. 

A slight service at Smollett's instance rendered by 
John Wilkes to Samuel Johnson brings together, during 
the last years of the second George, three men equally 
prominent, after their very different fashions, in the 
periodical press, not likely to have been brought into 
any associations with each other either before or after 
this date. Johnson's black servant, Francis Barber, had. 



SWIFT TO PHILIP FRANCIS 101 

as Boswell relates, been pressed for the navy into the 
crew of the Stag frigate. At this date (1759) Middlesex 
had not brought its six times elected member to the later 
notoriety which made the great moralist remark that 
if he had his deserts he would receive a good ducking. 
Wilkes, therefore, readily used his influence, however he 
may have acquired it, with Ministers to secure Barber's 
release. Meanwhile Johnson had not only begun his 
journalistic course by writing for a local print in his 
native county the essays which first gained him notice, 
but had made his position in the London press by some 
work essentially of the newspaper kind, though published 
in a monthly magazine. This was the account in Cave's 
Gentleman's Magazine of the proceedings in Parliament, 
under the title of the "Senate of Lilliput." A certain 
speech of the elder Pitt's had been called by the Francis 
whose son became Junius, " superior to anything in De- 
mosthenes." "That speech," said Johnson, " I wrote in 
a garret in Exeter Street." One of the functions dis- 
charged by Addison and Steele had been to purify and 
sweeten the journalistic atmosphere. In this direction of 
moral improvement Johnson, whose conscientious scruples 
caused him in 1742 to discontinue his imaginary records 
of parliamentary doings, went a whole stage further. 
The only resemblance borne by the Rambler to a news- 
paper of any kind was its appearance at stated intervals. 
Marked more than any other of his periodical writings 
by Johnson's sesquipedalian pomp of diction, it largely 
consisted of discourses on the cardinal virtues^ so grave 
and earnest that they might have been delivered from 
the pulpit, of admonitions to spiritual perfection as devout, 
sometimes even as impassioned, as any urged by the 
lips or pen of Wesley, Doddridge or Watts. The ethical 
or even theological matter was varied by excursions into 
literature, by anecdotes, allegories, and apologues ; it 
formed, indeed, a specimen of the mixture that constituted 
the Sunday reading of strict households two or three 
generations ago. Of the two titles to fame with which 
JiOhnson is still popularly labelled, that of the great 
lexicographer was made good by the Dictionary in 1755. 
The distinction of the great moralist came from the 
Rambler in 1750-52. Nor Vvas there much ;extrava- 
gance in Boswell's remark that in no writings whatever 



102 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

could there be found more bark and steel for the mind, 
as well as in his further claim for it of the same superiority 
to the rant of stoicism as the sun of Revelation possesses 
over the twilight of pagan philosophy. Not, indeed, 
that the Rambler appealed to professedly serious readers 
alone. Johnson lived for this world as well as for the 
next. He thought it equally his duty as well as his 
interest to provide for the spiritual advance and the 
social entertainment or instruction of his readers. The 
Passion Week compositions on abstraction, on self-exam- 
ination, on penitence, on the placability of the divine 
nature, are preceded or followed by social sketches which 
for lightness of touch, felicity of characterisation, insight 
into the humours of daily life, might be Addison's, 
The Rambler is also distinguished from the host of 
miscellanies that jostled it in not meeting with more 
of favour from the general public than of attention from 
the literary class. Thus nuniber fifty -five of the series 
contains a character, that of Suspirius, which gave Gold- 
smith his idea of Croker in the comedy of The Good- 
natured Man. In quickness of composition imder 
pressure, in the readiness with which he turned from one 
subject to another, Johnson would have been noticeable 
among the journalists of any age. These eminently 
journalistic attributes were illustrated by him not less 
strikingly in the Idler than in the Rambler. Neither place 
nor time was allowed to interfere wit]h his work. Once^ 
between 1758 and 1760, while on a visit to Oxford, he 
suddenly remembered the London printer had no copy 
in hand. The post went out in half an hour. That was 
quite long enough for him to write and send off one 
of the short Idler essays. These compositions varied 
from one -third to two -thirds of a modern leading article 
in length. It was, therefore, quick work, surpassed 
neither in quality nor length by many writers since 
Johnson's time. In his compositions for the jieriodical 
press, the English lexicographer showed himself as mis- 
cellaneously prolific as he could, on an emergency, be 
swift. The subjects of the Idler pieces recall, in their 
freshness and diversity, the contents of Defoe's Reviews. 
Among the topics put down by Johnson for treatment is 
an English academy for literature, sucTi as suggested itself 
about the same time to Jonathan Swift. Both writers 



SWIFT TO PHILIP FRANCIS 103 

expected the realisation oF that project in their life- 
time. Instead, it was to be among the earliest official 
acts of King Edward VII. For the rest, as well, it may 
be said, as Addison and Steele, Johnson showed the 
soundness of his newspaper instinct by devoting thought 
and space to questions of domestic economy, of house- 
hold cookery, of public health in towns and villages, 
to regulation of the drink trade, to licensing reform, 
to improved methods of teaching in schools and colleges, 
as well as to suggestions for amending all that affected 
the position of women in the community. Even the germ 
of the Married Women's Property Act may be discovered 
in more than one passage of the Idler essays. Than 
Johnson, indeed, the members of John Stuart Mill's 
" suppressed sex " had no sturdier champion, as is shown 
not only by page after page, but by number following 
number of the Idler. A lady's performance on horseback 
inspires an idea for forming a female army. Should that 
prove impracticable, it is explained how, in the manage- 
ment of charities and hospitals, the intelligence of 
English matrons and maids of all degrees may be success- 
fully enlisted for conducting war against waste, want, 
and all kinds of preventable sickness. In the Idler, 
by the choice of subjects, the simplicity, the ease, or the 
playful satire of treatment, Johnson is an example of the 
writer who first makes arid then enlarges his public 
by keeping his finger always on its mental pulse, by 
interpreting and supplying its daily needs in every depart- 
ment of its corporate or individual life. Something 
of the same kind, indeed, had already been done by hisi 
predecessors or contemporaries from Defoe to Swift, 
Addison, and Steele. All Johnson's periodical iwork, 
however, if not universally original, is stamped with the 
character of his own strong individuality. During the 
second half of the eighteenth century the Rambler, the 
Idler, and above all that masterpiece of Johnsonian 
commonsense, biographical compression, and terse criti- 
cism, the Lives of the Poets, had begun to share with 
the compositions whose central figure is Sir Roger de 
Coverley the honour of being considered among the 
healthiest, as they were also the lorigest -lived, models 
for periodical writers. Amid innumerable differences, 
the journalistic prose of Samuel Johnson's day reflects 



104 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

itself in that of the period during which Lord Macaulay's 
arrangement of sentences and paragraphs largely formed 
the secret of the effect produced by the leading articles 
in the Times. A former high authority on English prose, 
Bishop Hurd, with the diction of his favourite Addison 
compared unfavourably a school of prose whose growth 
to popularity he watched with dismay. This was what 
Hurd called the pompous or swaggering style, introduced 
by Bolingbroke, continued or heightened by Junius and 
Johnson. However it may be stigmatised, the diction 
detested by Bishop Hurd was to form the foundation and 
the model for the best newspaper writers, not merely 
of Hurd's own day, but in the centuries which followed. 

Among the periodical writers beginning with Defoe, 
continuing with Swift, Steele and Addison, and ending 
with Johnson, each has been shown to embody some 
characteristic portion of the eighteenth-century spirit ; 
about each enough is known to enable us distinctly to 
realise his person, his position, and his life's work. 
Equally close will prove the connection with their time 
in the case of the other eighteenth -century makers of the 
English newspaper still to be considered. 

Samuel Johnson's connection with the periodical press 
is noticeable for another reason than the quality of the 
work he did for it. The essays that composed his 
Rambler appeared, for the most part, if not entirely, in 
separate form, without, that is, the accompaniment of 
any other letterpress. The Idler formed his contribution 
to a weekly newspaper, the Universal Chronicle, pub- 
lished every Saturday. From that time forth the column 
or two of original composition became a recognised 
feature in the new sheet, great or small, whether of weekly 
or daily issue. Johnson lived to see the example he had 
set followed in a manner and with results more memorable 
than had so far been experienced. His memory and 
imagination combined had helped him, on the strength of 
a very few hints, to enrich Cave's reports of the " Senate 
of Lilliput " in the Gentleman's Magazine with speeches 
such as Chatham might well have been supposed to 
deliver. Cave found a successor in John Almon, whose 
record of the doings at Westminster, if not such polished 
and stately pieces of imagination as Johnson furnished 
to the Gentleman's Magazine, were historically more valu- 



SWIFT TO PHILIP FRANCIS 105 

able, prepared the way for the parliamentary reports of 
a later day, and involved their publisher in constant 
squabbles with both Houses for breach of privilege. 
That was the period during which the newspaper had 
other champions and martyrs than those who were actually 
its writers. The middlte of the eighteenth century 
witnessed the rise of a family three generations of which 
were almost equally remarkable for their skill, courage, 
resourcefulness and judgment in all that concerned the 
business side of newspapers. Whether intelligence or 
comment, the Woodfalls from 1760 onward knew what 
the public wanted, and shrunk from no labour or risk 
in its supply. Thus it was that, on the accession of 
George III., the Public Advertiser, in existence froml 
the days of Defoe, but fallen into discredit and obscurity, 
had been worked up by Henry Woodfall into the most 
widely circulated journal of the time. His son, Henry 
Sampson Woodfall, needs no other claim to perpetual 
remembrance among the literary makers of the newspaper 
than the circumstance of his having brought out in the 
Public Advertiser the many -aliased writer best known as 
Junius. This paper then held a position comparable 
with the Times at the height of its power, and was 
recognised as the official organ for announcements by the 
party leaders on both sides. Ten years earlier, by publish- 
ing his Idler essays in the Universal Chronicle, Johnson 
placed on record a conviction that the newspaper article 
had, even in 1758, begun to displace the periodical 
essay sheet or the pamphlet. This admission by the 
first man of letters in the generation to which he belonged 
was significantly reinforced when the greatest literary 
gladiator in the language chose, as the medium for his 
deliverances, personal and political, a new sheet owing 
its then unequalled circulation entirely to its accurate 
intelligence rather than to any signal wisdom disclosed by 
its counsel to the statesmen of the time. In the spring 
of 1 7 5 7, it was a Fleet Street rumour that Henry Sampson 
Woodfall had held several secret meetings with a gentle- 
man who, a generation later, was to attract the attention 
of Parliament scarcely more by his eloquence than by his 
presence. The voice, first heard at St. Stephens in 1784, 
was as sharp and distinct as it was sonorous ; the 
gestures, impatient, irregular, were expressive in every 



106 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

detail of a powerful and restless intellect. " Bursting 
with bile " was the impression produced by his appear- 
ance and manner upon a shrewd and entirely unprejudiced 
observer, who was frequently his fellow dinner guest at the 
Brighton Pavilion, where some years later Francis became 
domesticated. Presenting, both as writer and speaker, 
many points of resemblance to Burke, Francis in one 
respect excelled him. Burke's passion and irascibility 
constantly overcame his reason, and excited as much of 
pity for the man as his eloquence did of admiration for 
the orator. In Francis, on the other hand, the powerful 
and unwearied brain generally co-operated with the re- 
lentless will to restrain the humours of petulance and keep 
back the outbursts of bitterness or passion. Between the 
last of the Junius letters and the return of Sir Philip 
Francis to Parliament, there elapsed an interval of twelve 
years. That, however, was not long enough to remove 
the impressions produced by the philippics of the Public 
Advertiser from the Chamber which Francis entered in 
1784. The reports of his earliest parliamentary speeches 
contain touch to suggest that his newspaper writings had 
served as the full-dress rehearsals of his most telling 
oratorical effects. Even as a rhetorician, Woodfall's 
illustrious contributor was unsurpassed equally on the 
platform and in the press. Whether with voice or pen, 
the effects he produced resembled the organ performance 
of a Imaster-hand, whose genius and art combined extracts 
from his instrument harmonies entirely denied to 
operators of less consummate touch. In 1784 came 
the debate, that on Pitt's India Bill, at St. Stephen's. 
Francis then delivered a speech immediately recognised 
by all competent critics as having the same ring that, 
a generation earlier, had sounded through the Public 
Advertiser's columns. A clause in the measure pro- 
vided in certain cases for the abolition of trial by jury. 
This brought Francis to his feet with an impassioned 
appeal to the then Prime Minister's father, the great 
Earl of Chatham, whom such a proposal would halve 
brought from his bed of sickness to the floor of the 
House. -" Alas 1 " exclaimed Francis, " he is dead, and the 
sense, the honour, the character, and the understanding 
of the nation are dead with him." " So then," on the 
Treasury Bench whispered Chatham's son to his friend 



SWIFT TO PHILIP FRANCIS 107 

Long, " the voice of Junius himself is now heard." Here 
it may be noticed that Francis had begun his articles in 
Woodfall's journal with an attack upon the same states- 
man, the elder Pitt, whom, with equal power and pathos, 
he was afterwards to apostrophise in, Parliament. In 
1766 Chatham became Secretary of State in the Cabinet 
nominally presided over by the Duke of Grafton, and 
containing Bute, so often and so bitterly denounced by 
the very Chatham who thus became the Duke's colleague. 
Not as Junius but Poplicola in the Public Advertiser of 
April 28, 1767, the future Junius charged Chatham with 
having brought to a climax his insolence and hypocrisies 
by taking that favourite to his bosom, and making him 
the only partner of his power, and by thus finding his 
ally in "a notorious coward who, skulking under a petti- 
coat, sacrifices the honour of a king, and makes a great 
nation the prey of his avarice and ambition." If, as 
has been said, Poplicola was not identical with Junius, 
he anticipated the style of Junius with superhuman 
accuracy. Here our concern is not so much with the 
subjects handled by Francis in the different characters he 
assumed as with the definite results which his pen 
helped to produce, and with the justification they 
constitute for the choice in the first instance, by a 
consummately clever man, of the press rather than of 
Parliament as his agency for infiuencin^g events. Nothing 
can be more unlike the simple and concise exposition 
of Swift than the pomp of rhetoric and the elaborately, 
antithetical periods of Francis. On some questions, how- 
ever, the two men thought with each other, and expressed 
themselves in almost identical terms . About the moneyed 
men and the landed men, as Atticus in the Public 
Advertiser of August, 1768, Francis echoes the opinions 
put forth in the Examiner and elsewhere, more than half 
a century earlier, by, Swift. Such, it is stated^ were the 
dangers to property and finance involved in unfriendly 
relations with France as well as a probable break with 
our American colonies, that prudent persons found jt 
necessary to sell out of the funds and to invest in land. 
Among the varieties of vituperative _phrase with which 
Francis labours this point, are some whose coarseness 
seems like an imitation of Swift in his least refined 
moments— e.g'., "our rulers, careless of everything 



108 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

but their own pleasures, leave their country like a cast 
oflf mistress to perish under the diseases they have given 
her." The newspaper directed by Henry Sampson Wood- 
fall, and having for its most sensational feature the 
articles of Sir Philip Francis, achieved or contributed 
to the subsequent production of two specific results. 
On March 25, 1771, the citizens of London were 
beside themselves with admiration at the scornful 
invective heaped by the Public Advertiser on the Parlia- 
ment for its extreme measures against not only those 
who printed the unlicensed report of its proceedings, but 
those who, like the Lord Mayor and aldermen, upheld the 
perpetrators of the offence. " It was not," said the news- 
paper, " the offensive individual but the free constitution 
of this country, including its whole newspaper system, 
to compass whose destruction the estates of the realm 
have added a new crime to the Statute book." From the 
day of that declaration, the issue of the struggle for full 
parliamentary reports was never in doubt for a moment. 
The other point at which Francis affected the legislation 
of his day was the beginning of that movement brought 
to a triumphant close in 1792 by Fox. For without the 
impetus in the right direction first given to public feeling 
by the writer, the statesman would have lacked the force 
which overcame the opposition of the Lords, and which 
enabled him, in libel cases, to bring matters of law as 
well as of fact within the purview of the jury. 

The details proving Junius and Francis to have been 
one and the same are too familiar for review here. 
One, however, worn perhaps less threadbare than the 
others, may be mentioned . Lady Francis, who was entirely 
in her husband's confidence^ used to show her friends a 
little Ijook, Junius Identified, a posthumous gift from 
her husband, and inscribed on the fly-leaf with the words : 
" I leave this book as a legacy to my wife." Here it 
may be convenient to bring together the various persons 
to whom the Junius Letters have at different times been 
ascribed. Taken in alphabetical order, these are Lord 
Ashburton, Hugh Macauley Boyd, Edmund Burke, Dr. 
Butler (sometime Bishop of Hereford), John Dunning, 
Samuel Dyer, Henry Flood, William Gerard Hamilton 
(" single speech "), Major -General Charles Lee, Charles 
Lloyd (a Treasury clerk, afterwards teller of the Ex- 



SWIFT TO PHILIP FRANCIS 109 

chequer), John Roberts (another Treasury clerk, after- 
wards private secretary to Pelham when Prime Minister, 
subsequently M.P. for Harwich, also a Commissioner for 
the Board of Trade), the Rev. Philip Rosenhagen, Lord 
George Sackville, John Wilkes. That no one but Burke 
had it in him to be Junius was at one time the opinion 
of Johnson, whose admiration for the literary quality 
of the compositions did not prevent his crossing swords 
with their reputed author, and severely denouncing him 
in a pamphlet about the Falkland Islands in 1771. 
So great a critic as Johnson should have seen that as a 
writer Junius was as much below Burke as Wilkes was 
below Junius. Mr. Abraham Hayward, quite unrivalled 
for his knowledge about Holland House, its traditions, 
its contents, and its personages at different periods, told 
me in the last year of his life that the first Lord Holland, 
who gave Francis his start in ofificial life, had bequeathed 
evidence of one kind or another which should satisfy 
all sane persons as to the impossibility of Philip Francis 
having been Junius, notwithstanding the agreement jof 
Lord Stanhope, Lord Macaulay, and Thomas De Quincey 
that, if Francis did not write the Junius Letters, " there 
is an end of all reasoning on circumstantial evidence." 
From the first, the chief circumstances of his life had 
prepared Philip Francis for the authorship of the letters. 
After leaving the school kept at Dublin by his father, 
the Rev. Philip Francis, who translated Horace and other 
classical authors, he went to St. Paul's School in London ; 
here he had for his class-fellow his future publisher, 
Woodfall, and here, while still little more than a child, 
invited on half-holidays to Holland House, he began 
to make distinguished acquaintances which afterwards 
proved of such use to his career. Thus it was that he 
not only secured his first clerkship in the public service, 
but became for a time private secretary to the great 
Lord Chatham himself. This, rather than any training 
or proficiency in academic subjects, formed the education 
without which the Junius Letters could not have been 
penned. These compositions attracted attention not 
because of their literary form, but by reason of the social 
and official assumptions that imparted to them colour and 
tone. Here was a writer affecting to speak, not only 
with authority, but with something like omniscience, on 



110 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

the secret history of the moment, and on the highly placed 
individuals who made it. The first condition of success 
was to satisfy readers in a position to estimate the value 
of the information conveyed. No one recognised ,that 
necessity more keenly than did Woodfall, who, in relation 
to these writings, showed himself much more than a 
publisher — a tactful and far-seeing editor. Only, in effect 
said Woodfall, let Lord North and Mr. Burke stamp us 
with the mark of their notice, and the whole town in 
every quarter will insist upon reading what we write ; 
so that, however much against their will, other newspapers 
must reprint them from the Public Advertiser. These 
calculations were fulfilled in each minute particular. As 
a result, the greatest triumph which had so far fallen 
to the leader-writer's art was won. From the specimens 
of the knowledge actually given, and its verification by 
the passing incidents of the hour, the Public Advertiser's 
readers could appraise for themselves the opportunities 
commanded by the writer ; the mian who guided such a 
pen must be, in the truest sense of the words, behind the 
scenes. His revelations not only gratified a legitimate 
curiosity, but were conveyed in such a manner as to 
leave an impression of strength and knowledge in reserve. 
However they had been obtained, the secrets of the prison 
house were now put into print with as much of accuracy 
as bitterness. Here was a daily commentator who, unlike 
his Grub Street brethren, had mastered his subject before 
he took up pen to treat it, and whose whole previous life 
therefore must have been in a sense a preparation for 
his present work. The writing itself was the very best 
journalese then procurable, and was marked by one or 
two features not less commendable than new. The 
periods of Junius, in their length and involution^ were 
often after the Latin pattern. Occasionally, however, 
the effect was heightened by the judicious employment 
of the short sentence^ and by adroit paragraph arrange- 
ments that at once pleased the eye and relieved the ear. 
Above all things, Junius succeeded in getting the public 
to take him at his own estimate of himself. In doing 
this, he not only showed that he had mastered the 
secret of the journalist's success as a commentator on 
the events of the time, but he encouraged all followers 
of his vocation to magnify their apostleship by a literary 



SWIFT TO PHILIP FRANCIS 111 

style whose tone of oracular assertion and narrative 
infallibility made it worthy of the editorial "we." Others 
had devoted their genius or knowledge to instructing 
the public. The first aim of Junius was to impress it ; 
and in this he made himself the model for the manu- 
facturers of editorial comment in his own and in 
succeeding generations. The grand manner in the 
periodical press, or, as it has been irreverently called, 
the i" big bow-wow " style, had been practised by a 
series of publicists, from Bolingbroke to Johnson. The 
method reached its climax of majesty and vigour in Philip 
Francis. The notoriety -hunting but essentially second- 
rate pen of John Wiilkes, violent in words but miserably 
destitute of ideas, weak to childishness in reasoning, 
and polluted by the unsavoury associations of his 
character and life, had shown the journalist at his nadir 
in the North Briton. Wilkes's other venture, the Middle- 
sex Journal, did little to retrieve the reputation, 
intellectual, moral, literary, or political, of its projector, 
and was relieved from something below mediocrity only 
by the occasional contributions of Thomas Chatterton, 
who deplored being handicapped by the circumstance 
that nothing but what was moderate or ministerial would 
go down with the public. The connection of Francis 
with the Public Advertiser came just in time intellectually 
to rehabilitate the newspaper commentator in the judg- 
ment of educated men. Before the eighteenth century 
had closed Burke, in a House of Commons speech, could 
call the newspaper system the Fourth Estate. This he 
could never have done — above all, he could never have 
cited instances that justified his phrase — but for the joint 
labours of the two former class-mates at St. Paul's School, 
Henry Sampson iWoodfall and Philip Francis. And if, 
under the Hanoverian dynasty, Francis was the first to 
show the perfection to which the leader-writer's art 
might be brought, Woodfall deserves to be remembered 
as the earliest and not the least successful among those 
of whom Thomas Carlyle was afterwards to speak as 
-' able editors." 



CHAPTER V 

THE WORK OF WILLIAM COBBETT 

The man of the new age — William Cobbett's humble birth and scanty education — 
From lawyer's clerk to private soldier— " Ruling the regiment" in Canada 
— Return to England and discharge — Failure of his charges of malversation 
against former officers causes sudden flight to America — Contemporary 
politics in the States— Cobbett joins the fray— Birth of " Peter Porcupine " 
— Finds America too hot for him — In England once more — The Political 
Register — From Tory to Radical — Two years' imprisonment — The newspaper 
man reaches the masses — A second fl^ht to America — Cobbett's English 
Grammar — ^Across the Atlantic with Tom Paine's bones — Reception at home 
— The financial losses caused by the Six Acts and by an unsuccessful election 
contest force Cobbett into bankruptcy — Renewed literary labours — Bottom of 
the poll again — Reform violence — The rising tide— Cobbett, prosecuted 
by the Whig Government, makes a clever defence and is discharged — The 
Reform Act — On top at last — M.P. for Oldham — Closing years. 

In each of the instances so far reviewed, the news- 
paper man only made himself a popular force after he 
had begun by fixing the attention or exciting the alarm.' 
of the governing classes. He never played to the gallery 
till he had secured the boxes and the stalls. It was 
with the Roman periods of Philip Francis as it had 
been with the arresting and coercive Anglo-Saxon of 
Jonathan Swift. The principle of patronage then per- 
meated the entire polity of letters. In unconscious 
deference to it, both men felt they must be approved 
by Maecenas and his circle before they could hope to 
win or sway the plebs. Both also, by birth, cultuire, 
and associations, belonged, like other writers of different 
calibre and of various periods, to the well-to-do classes 
whose support might be indifferent to the book -writer, 
but was the very breath of life to the journalist. Thus 
as regards his Dictionary Johnson did not set to work 
before he had committed the complete plan to Lord 



WORK OF WILLIAM COBBETT 113 

Chesterfield. His journalism, or the nearest approach 
to it with which he can be credited, was done during 
the period that his large acquaintance with what he 
called the middling classes, in the provinces as well 
as in London, had brought him into, and enabled him to 
maintain, the closest touch with the individuals and the 
families for whom his Ramblers and Idlers were 
primarily intended. A newspaper press thoroughly popu- 
larised and the patron of the old, stately sort could not 
indeed long exist together. Journalism organised itself 
into a potent and paying profession, with a tendency 
to flaunt its independence of the rich and great whom 
it had found essential to itself throughout the Stuart and 
even into the Hanoverian period'. Daniel Defoe has 
been already described as the earliest newspaper man 
who, by the popularity of his topics, of his treatment, 
and by the xmiversality of the interests to which he ap- 
pealed, carried the entire country with him, gave the 
law to legislators, and made himself a personage at 
Courts. A generation after Defoe's death arose a man 
the meanness of whose beginnings, the force of whose 
genius, and the intractability of whose temper made him, 
as the idol of the mob, Defoe's first genuine successor, 
but prompted him also to use the newspaper in a spirit 
more bitter and subversive than was ever thought of 
by Defoe. The aristocracy must now be compelled to 
feel and confess the sovereignty of the people. Bom 
in 1762 and living till 1835, William Cobbett owed 
nothing to the men who had written newspapers before 
his time, except, indeed, to Swift, whose Tale of a Tub 
had deeply impressed his boyhood, and gave him a 
distinct notion of strong, simple Anglo-Saxon prose. 
He was the grandson of one Surrey labourer and the 
son of another, sufficiently shrewd and successful to have 
improved his position into that of a small farmer and 
publican. William Cobbett was taught reading, writing, 
and arithmetic at home. That which afterwards brought 
him livelihood and fame, his knowledge of men and 
manners, was picked up in the course of wanderings 
guided entirely by his own will or whim. Aptly called 
by one of his biographers " the contentious man,^' ' he 

' Lord Dalling and Bulwer's Historical Characters, vol. ii. pp. 97 et seq. 

8 



114 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

had from his earliest years conceived for himself a mis- 
sion which was to make his normal state one of often 
causeless war not only with all the conditions, social, 
moral, or political, of the time, but with most of the 
individuals whom, whether allies or enemies, he met in 
the course of his tempestuous march. The faults of 
the man lay on the surface. His combativeness was ever 
ready to blow itself into flame. A ludicrous sense of his 
own importance was exaggerated to grotesqueness by 
the constantly growing conceit of the man who had been 
his own schoolmaster. The imperfect sense of humour 
which generally accompanies an inordinate vanity be- 
trayed him into countless blunders or ineptitudes. In 
spite of all this, no one could have personified more 
instructively the most characteristic tendencies of the age 
of which he formed in so striking a degree the product. 
Cobbett was ten years old when the Junius Letters, oh 
their cessation, left the press, in all political matters, 
a rival to Parliament. But though members of both 
Houses detested in a general way the competing news- 
paper, the masses as yet had scarcely learned to see in it 
an agency for proclaiming their grievances or healing 
their wrongs. For that the scrappiness and frivolity 
discrediting many journals of the period were largely 
to blame. In country pot-houses like that which 
Cobbett's father had kept, and in market -town taprooms, 
the rumours and the scandals of the day deduced from 
paragraphs of news or comment helped to form and 
diffuse a public opinion about the failings and the 
incapacity of the official classes. There thus sprang up 
among the working population a widely spread and deeply 
seated distrust of their rulers in Church and State, as in 
every branch, civil or military, of the public service. 
But since the great periodical writers of the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries so often mentioned already, the 
newspaper press had not produced any fresh leader whose 
genius or moral and intellectual weight made themselves 
felt through every section of the reading public. 

The short time, less than a year, spent by the Surrey 
ploughboy in a lawyer's office quickened the suspicions in- 
grained into him by his early surroundings, added perhaps 
much of superficial sharpness. It left him, however, with 
faculties as undisciplined and as entirely uninformed as 



WORK OF WILLIAM COBBETT 115 

when, in 1783, at the age of twenty-one, he had run 
away from Farnham, intending to go to sea, but, getting 
no further than London, had kept himself alive by becom- 
ing office boy and copying clerk to a solicitor in Gray's 
Inn. Something, no doubt, he learned during this period. 
But the gnawing consciousness of capacity for better things 
baffled by want of opportunity was developing in him' 
a discontent which embittered him against all more 
fortunately situated than himself. His Surrey home was 
hard by Sir William Temple's Moor Park, then over- 
flowing with memories of Jonathan Swift. Hence 
Cobbett's choice of the first book he ever bought, as 
has been already mentioned, the Tale of a Tub, and 
the consequent turn of his ambitions to pen and ink. His 
enlistment in a regiment bound for Canada kept him 
from starvation, gave him the chance of enlarging and 
maturing his acquaintance with English grammar, com- 
position, and, within certain limits, literature too ; it 
also had the result of introducing him to the frugal, 
honest, bustling body who made him an excellent wife. 
He became corporal soOn after joining the 54th. Two 
years after reaching Canada he was raised to the rank of 
sergeant-major. Military administration in all its depart- 
ments was then scandalously incapable and corrupt. 
During his term of service in Nova Scotia he found that 
the adjutant, whose business it was to write the orders of 
the day, scarcely knew how to handle a pen. As 
sergeant-major Cobbett not only kept the regimental 
accounts, but wrote the orders of the day for the illiterate 
adjutant. There is no conceit like that of the half- 
educated and entirely self-taught man ; with characteristic 
complacency he observed he " practically ruled the 
regiment." These distinctions, due, as he modestly 
admits, less to any intellectual merit of his own than to 
his habit of never losing a moment, may not have turned 
his head. They added several dangerous cubits to his 
mental stature when he measured his own mental endow- 
ments and acquisitions against those of the superiors 
whom he Calls the " epaulet gentry." In 1791-2 the 
regiment's return to England gave him the opportunity 
of obtaining his discharge, not without a strong testi- 
monial as to character and usefulness from the major, 
Lord Edward Fitzgerald. His retirement, however, did 



116 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

not immediately sever his connection with the army. 
In 1792 he brought serious charges of malversation 
against his former commanding officers. There followed 
a court-martial whose venue, at Cobbett's request to the 
Prime Minister, Pitt, was transferred from Portsmouth 
to London. His nerve now failed him, or a survey of the 
facts, more calm and practical than he had yet given 
them, disclosed insuperable difficulties in establishing his 
case. At any rate, when his name was called upon to 
appear, he had put some portion of the English Channel 
between himself and the court. But he had descended 
on the French coast only to gather strength for a longer 
flight across the Atlantic. 

Cobbett had come back from Canada with his regiment 
to England in 1791. He remained there about a year, 
during which he contrived to drink deep of the political 
and religious ideas of Tom Paine ; though sooner than 
he could have foreseen there was to come the complete 
and violent reaction from Tom Painism and Gallicanism, 
deepened by the conviction, growing out of his French 
experiences, that England must soon find herself at deadly 
war with her nearest continental neighbour. During 
the October of 1792, he disembarked at New York. A 
very short and superficial acquaintance with democratic 
institutions in the New World filled him with a furious 
loathing of democracy and all its works in general, of 
the French character in particular, and of all those writers 
or teachers who pandered to the democratic instinct, his 
chief indignation, scorn, and disgust being reserved for 
Priestley and his particular follower, the Dr. Price 
mentioned in Burke's Reflections on the French Revo- 
lution. Priestley, declared Cobbett, had wished England 
to follow the steps of revolutionary France. Well, those 
led to massacre, bankruptcy, and wai'. It therefore came 
to this. Priestley either foresaw the blood-stained cata- 
strophe of the French upheaval which he wished England 
to imitate, or he did not foresee it. If he did foresee it, 
his counsel to his countrymen was that of a criminal ; if 
he did not foresee it, he had written himself down an 
idiot. In neither case could he possess the slightest claim 
to be called, as his partisans protested, the " friend of 
human happiness." Priestley himself appeared across the 
Atlantic two or three years after Cobbett had established 



WORK OF WILLIAM COBBETT 117 

himself in New York. The literary products of the duel 
between the two were read in England with amusement, 
but with a very different feeling in the United States, 
then divided into parties sharply opposed to each other 
on the question of helping republican France against her 
enemies in monarchical Europe. The New York 
Federals, led by Jefferson, Madison (drawn by Cobbett 
as a little bow-legged man, stiff, slender, and with a 
sourness of countenance that might become disdain if 
the features were not too skinny and scanty), and Monroe, 
were anti-French, pro-English, and consequently backers 
of Cobbett to a man. The Democrats, on the other 
hand, unanimous in Priestley's favour, hating the Briton 
even more than they loved the Gaul, were bent on brush- 
ing Cobbett, as a noisome obstacle, out of Priestley's 
way. 

Such was the controversy, English in its issues, though 
the battlefield lay beyond the ocean, which gave Cobbett 
his first experience of polemical writing. His first essay 
in pamphleteering was an answer to James Thompson 
Callender's Political Progress of Britain, under the title 
A Bone to Gnaw for the Democrats. This composition 
might be described as a confused series of imaginative 
episodes, argumentative allegories, and fancy visions of 
William Penn, of the American secessionists from British 
rule, of episodes in the life and after the death of 
Louis XVI, uniting France and America in antagonism 
to England. The American Monthly Review retaliated 
with a counter-attack upon the Britishers of every variety. 
This stung Cobbett into renewing the assault, and became 
the occasion which gave him his best known pen-name. 
A Kick for a Bite was his own title for the new indict- 
ment, in preparing which he compared himself to 
the porcupine which uses its quills as weapons of 
defence against its adversaries. Henceforth Cobbett was 
better known by his literary alias of Peter Porcupine 
than by his own name. Under that nom-de -guerre, 
he produced in 1795 a defence of the Federalists and of 
the Anglo-American treaty, from a literary and argu- 
mentative point of view much ahead of ^.nything that 
he had so far written. Its success on both sides of the 
Atlantic was immediate and lasting. All parties and 
factions in each country agreed that the necessity of a 



118 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

good understanding and of close commerce between the 
two peoples had never been so convincingly and judi- 
ciously put. About this time, too, Cobbett was admitted 
to have done his American hosts a good turn, by report- 
ing and publishing the debates in Congress, much after 
the same fashion as he subsequently brought together 
those records of the two Houses at Westminster which, 
in the shape they are now known to everyone, constitute 
the thirty-six volumes of our parliamentary history from 
the year of the Norman conquest onward. During the 
seven or eight years of his residence in the States, 
Cobbett's incessant industry and far-reaching enterprise 
largely identified his material interests with those of 
the people among whom he lived. They did not prevent 
his being always in hot water with his Yankee associates. 
By 1796 a Prospect from the Congress Gallery had 
proved a great success. Cobbett, to whom the idea seems 
to have been due, fell out with his publisher Bradford. 
The controversy that followed produced on both sides 
pamphlets and articles remarkable, even in that age of 
Billingsgate, not only for the ferocity but the foulness of 
their language. This formed the last occasion on which 
Cobbett or any other newspaper-writer distinguished him- 
self by a vocabulary such as even Swift might have 
rebuked for its coarseness. The truth is that periodical 
writing, already to some degree purified by Addison, 
from the end of the eighteenth or the beginning of the 
nineteenth century showed itself amfenable to the same 
wholesome influences which, as has been pointed out 
by Mr. Andrew Lang, between 1770 and 1800, had in 
every kind of writing been making for decencj. The 
change of opinion about witchcraft, effected between 1680 
and 1736, was not more complete than the transformation 
of literary taste gradually but decisively effected during 
the interval which separated the last letter of Junius in 
1772 from the first delivery of Cobbett some twenty years 
later. Thus, between 1760 and 1770, the reigning 
novelists were Smollett and Sterne. The first decade and 
a half of the nineteenth century saw Sterne and Smollett 
replaced by Miss Edgeworth, Godwin, Miss Austen, Mrs. 
Shelley, John Gait, and Sir Walter Scott. In the Spectator 
Addison and Steele had both renionstrated against the 
coarseness and lewdness, not of the stage only, but of 



WORK OF WILLIAM COBBETT 119 

those popular romancists who took Mrs. Aphra Behn ' 
for their model. On his return to England in i8ob 
Cobbett recognised that newspaper -writers and the news- 
paper public generally had come under those better and 
cleanlier influences which had already done so much 
towards purging the popular drama and the fashionable 
novel. Meanwhile his exploits with pen and ink across 
the Atlantic had brought him into wide notoriety at 
home. Every stage in his long exchange of stink -pots 
with Bradford had been followed by the English public. 
From these purely personal encounters of the pen had 
arisen literary battles not the less fierce because their 
issues were of national importance. To disgust Americans 
of every class with the French Revolution in all its 
aspects was the task which Cobbett had set himself, 
and which, to some degree, he accomplished (February, 
1796) in the Bloody Buoy, thrown out as a warning to 
the political pilots of the United States i Under this 
title, Cobbett brought together the atrocities committed 
by the French Revolutionists, especially by the infamous 
gangs acting under Carrier. Nothing that ever appeared 
in print did more towards withdrawing any popular 
remnant of English democratic sympathy from the French 
Terrorists, or towards converting Anglo-Saxon tolerance 
for outrages into active detestation both of the men 
who committed them and of the national conditions under 
which they were possible. 

At this time Cobbett was eking out a livelihood in 
Philadelphia by teaching the English language to refugees 
from France. His pupils included Talleyrand, the diplo- 
matist, who now passed for a merchant, who had nothing 
but compliments for his teacher's abilities and accom- 
plishments. Where could he have acquired such various, 
accurate learning? Had Oxford, Cambridge, or, as a 
Frenchman he naturally hoped, Paris University the 
honour of having been his alma materl Cobbett was 
not to be caught by this kind of chaff ; he soon dis- 
covered that his new pupil was as well acquainted with 
English as was his teacher. The suspicions thus aroused 
were exchanged for certainty when Talleyrand insisted 

■ A propos of this writer, how many recall to-day that she anticipated 
Mrs. Beecher Stowe in making a negro the hero of a story? 



120 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

on paying him twenty guineas instead of the six dollars 
that were his usual charge. The French Judas, as 
Cobbett called him, while playing the spy on Cobbett's 
desk and house, wanted to bribe him into writing against 
the French no more of the pamphlets or articles with 
the noise of which two continents were ringing. The 
anti -Galilean pamphleteering went on, however, just the 
same ; and the Bloody Buoy already referred to appeared 
after the diplomatist's attempt to buy the journalist. 
By this time the American bitterness against the renegade 
from Tom Painism was expressing itself in weekly dis- 
plays of literary or pictorial abuse. The democratic 
Aurora, instigated by his former friend and colleague 
Bradford, described him as "so inured while in the army 
to the cat -o' -nine -tails that horse -whipping could have 
no terrors for him." At the same timte a caricature repre- 
sented Cobbett trampling on Tom Paine and the Rights 
of Man, and then as destroying a statue of Liberty to 
receive a bag of gold from Satan. "We like," chucklingly 
remarked Cobbett, " to hear the lion roar, for then we 
know he is hurt." Vilification of this sort was exactly 
what he wanted, and advertised his writing as nothing 
else could. Since the Yankees took fire at his very 
name, Tom Paine was evidently Cobbett's best card to 
play. Encouraged by the foul epithets thrown at him, 
Cobbett in a new sheet. The Censor, contrasted Paine's 
recent abuse of George Washington with the fulsome 
flatteries of him formerly contained in the Rights of Man. 
" Now," he wrote, directly addressing Paine, " atrocious, 
infamous miscreant, I would call on you to blush^ but 
the rust of villainy has eaten your cheek to the bone." 
All these flowers of rhetoric may be found in Peter 
Porcupine's Memoirs, collected from the most notorious 
of Cobbett's journalistic ventures in the States, the 
Porcupine. It was not only his attacks upon republic- 
anism which set the New Yorkers against' him. They 
soon resented, or professed to resent, quite as deeply 
the language in which these attacks were made. Trans- 
atlantic Puritanism now affected the polish of a hyper- 
sensitive politeness in all phraseological matters, and 
was, indeed, already not far from the point since reached 
at which Americans " retire " instead of " go to bed," 
and, veil their furniture with frilled coverings to con- 



WORK OF WILLIAM COBBETT 121 

ceal the indelicacy of legs. Ignored on reaching the 
American capital as an obscure stranger, Cobbett had 
no sooner attracted notice by his combative pen than 
his controversial methods and style gave offence to every 
class of the United States public. The nineteenth century 
brought with it an incident destined to have the effect 
of restoring Cobbett to his native side of the ocean 
whose breadth had for eight years separated him from 
Europe. Returned to London, he found not only much 
interest in his American experiences, and appreciation 
for his dogged tenacity, but a disposition, beyond any- 
thing he could have expected, to lend him material assist- 
ance in his newspaper enterprises. The five thousand 
dollars in which Cobbett had been cast for the libel 
suit brought against him by the American Dr. Rush 
had exhausted his resources as well as made New York 
too hot to hold him. Yet very shortly after his reappear- 
ance in Fleet Street he was placed in funds that enabled 
him to start a second Porcupine in the Tory interest. He 
soon discovered the Tories to be as bad as the Whigs. 
In 1802 the Porcupine was succeeded by the weekly 
Political Register. In this, the most famous of all his 
papers, he began and continued by impartially attacking 
public men all round ; he ended by creating an irresistible 
impulse for parliamentary reform. The Tories, under 
Addington, were in office. An Irish judge named 
Johnson had a grievance ; Cobbett encouraged him to 
ventilate it in his paper. The result was the infliction 
of a heavy fine both on the editor and the writer. That 
determined Cobbett to become a Radical. He soon found 
an occasion for dealing Toryism) a heavy blow . Ever since 
his discharge from the 54th Regiment he had maintained 
his interest in army matters, and especially in all that 
concerned the condition of the private soldier. During 
his stay in the States his writings about the hardships 
endured by the rank and file at the hands of their officers 
had exposed him to the charge of inculcating seditious 
ideas. In the Political Register's earliest days a mutiny 
had actually occurred ; German soldiers had been called 
in to put it down first, and afterwards to administer the 
punishment of flogging to the ringleaders. The Register 
of course now came out with a furious attack on the War 
Office for sanctioning a foreign outrage on the bodies of 



122 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

English soldiers . Castlereagh, then Secretary for War and 
the Colonies, was promoting the supply of regular soldiers 
by volunteering from the militia as well as by recruiting. 
Let all whom it concerned remember that those who 
needed fresh men to bear arms were holding out these 
hundreds of lashes as an inducement for volimteers to 
come forward. Cobbett's observations on this occurrence 
were in the same vein of irony as Defoe's Shortest W-ay 
with the Dissenters, or Swift's Argument to prove the 
Inconvenience of abolishing Christianity. i " Ay," he ex- 
claimed, " flog them ! flog them I Lash them daily, lash 
them duly ! The German soldiers will make them take a 
flogging as quietly as so many trunks of trees." The 
Government felt itself placed on its honour to prosecute 
Cobbett. He was sentenced to a fine of £i,ooo and to 
two years' imprisonment. Cobbett not only found himself 
a martyr and an idol when he had served his sentence ; 
he was received by the authorities at Newgate with 
something of the deference due to a prisoner of state. 
Some jurors, who had not themselves tried Cobbett^ but 
who visited Newgate while he was a prisoner, entered 
his cell with a courtier's bows ; having asked whether 
he had anything to complain of, they were told " nothing 
but the being here." • The dignified and even amiable 
composure displayed by Cobbett during this confinement 
shows him in a new and pleasant light. From his cell 
he conducted his paper, managed eighty-seven acres of 
land which he had bought near Botley, Hampshire, in 
1808, and superintended with tenderness and wisdom 
the education of his children. Four years after his 
release in 18 12, he introduced into his Political Register 
changes that brought it regularly into every cottage 
and hovel of urban and rural England. The journalism 
which he thus personified addressed itself, not to the 
sufficiently fed and dressed, but to those in whose ill- 
built, ill -drained dwellings sickness and want were guests 
all the year round. The notoriety and success of his 
paper were helped by other agencies than his own pen, 
now felt everywhere as a national force, or even the 
scandals with which the Political Register had become 
associated. Cobbett possessed far-seeing business shrewd- 

' Crabbe Robinson's Diary, vol. i. p. 224. 



WORK OF WILLIAM COBBETT 123 

ness as well as a pen that compelled attention. There 
already existed, he saw, and there would daily multiply, 
a public which, reached by low prices and held by eflfective 
writing, must make the cheapest newspaper pay best. 
Hitherto he had charged a shilling and a halfpenny for 
each number of the Political Register. On November 
2, 1816, he brought it out at twopence with, for 
its chief feature, an address to the journeymen and 
labourers of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The paper 
now not only spread itself like wildfire into every work- 
shop and college of the English reading world ; it was 
read, re-read, and stamped itself more vividly on the mind 
than any newly printed matter then known. Peasant 
subscribers filed it for study and reference. Village 
Hampdens declaimed at the ale-house its arguments and 
catchwords. Other journalists, from and before Swift 
or Defoe to Junius, had reckoned their readers by 
thousands, and thrown down challenges which neither the 
Court nor the Cabinet could ignore ; these, as has been 
already pointed out, addressed the multitude through the 
governing classes. To Cobbett belongs the distinction 
of appealing directly to the voteless and voiceless masses . 
By the application of a weekly irritant in his paper, he 
organised their refusal longer to remain the passive 
outlaws of the constitution. Sir Robert Peel was 
described by Disraeli as playing on the House of 
Conomons as if it were an old fiddle. Cobbett had so 
thoroughly mastered all the tastes and humours of his 
public as to ensure his shots never going wide or falling 
short of the niark. And he achieved a twofold triumph, 
first by strengthening and sustaining the popular cry 
for reform, secondly by applying to the Whigs the goad 
of a compulsion without which they would have 
indefinitely postponed it. Otherwise than in coin of the 
realm, not only Cobbett but his readers were to pay for 
this success. Strongly worded newspaper articles would 
lead to as little practical good as monster parliamentary 
petitions unless the rulers of the State were made to 
understand that there were force and violence in the back- 
ground ready for use. Cobbett had scarcely made this 
clear when Reform riots raged throughout the land, but it 
was the threat of suspending Habeas Corpus which caused 
Cobbett openly to advocate an appeal to brute strength. 



124 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

The weekly Register made itself the organ of all those 
ready to rise against the Governmtent ; it further found 
them a ringleader in a man named Brandreth ; he, with 
two others, was proceeded against for " levying war 
against the King." At the trial his counsel. Cross, 
declared his client's crime to be due entirely to the 
Register, " the most mischievous publication ever put 
into the hands of man." Nothing could ever counteract 
the Address to the Journeymen and Labourers in the 
first number of the cheap series. Cobbett's choice, in 
his own words, now lay between silence and retreat. To 
stay in England meant the dungeon, with deprivation of 
pen and ink. Freedom to write and usefulness to his 
generation could only be secured by another sojourn in 
America. While preparing for his second flight across 
the Atlantic, Cobbett, according to his account, was 
approached by an emissary from the Prime Minister, 
Lord Liverpool ; would he take £10,000 as compensation 
for losses he had sustained from prosecution, and with 
that sum retire to his farm at Botley, then, by -the -by, 
mortgaged for £16,000.1 Supposing the offer to have 
been made, it would have been almost useless to Cobbett, 
who, in addition to the mortgage, was liable tO' arrest for 
£20,000 of other debts. By the middle of May, 1S17, 
Cobbett therefore found himself once more in America, 
this time with his two sons, and able uninterruptedly to 
resume his Political Register. His satisfaction on this score 
must have been heightened by the fury of his enemies. 
These used Robert Southey's pen in the Quarterly 
Review to denounce the Tory Ministers for letting 
so incorrigible a miscreant slip through their fingers. 
At least, said Southey, on some plea or other Cobbett's 
departure should have been delayed so that he should 
have lost the boat at Liverpool. Then he would have 
been sent back to London with the loss of liberty for the 
rest of his life ; whereas all that he had now forfeited 
was his wardrobe and library, together with anything 
else not compressible into the single trunk which formed 
his luggage. His former sojourn in New York had shown 

' For these figures, as for many other details in this chapter, I am indebted to 
Mr. E. J. Carlyle's Cobbett (p. 201), a book admirable for its accuracy and 
freshness. 



WORK OF WILLIAM COBBETT 125 

him injustice and oppression as the inevitable outcome 
of democracy. Now (1817) he exhausted the vocabulary 
of :grateful praise at being domiciled in the land of 
freedom, fair play, peace, and plenty. To have stayed 
in England would have meant to have ended his days in 
a filthy Newgate cell, hearing no other voice than that of 
churlish jailors, terrifying their victims with curses and 
blasphemies when they could not deal them blows and 
kicks. As it was, he had safely reached a smiling land 
of plenty, where content and happiness beamed forth from 
every countenance ; where was abundance to eat and 
drink for all, where the tax-gatherer's hangdog face 
was unknown, where no long-sworded and whiskered 
captains escorted from town to town judges who could 
only sit under guards of dragoons ; above all, where there 
were no Castlereaghs, no Cannings, no Liverpools, and 
none of that variety of pawnbrokers who swaggered about 
as bankers. Cobbett's American impressions gathered 
in 1792 had been as little complimentary as could be 
given by any earthly inferno. The English experiences 
which sent him a second time across the Atlantic in 
1817 showed him a new world which was, by comparison 
with the old, a social and political paradise. Yet at 
the earlier date the visitor's vanity had been gratified 
after a fashion altogether denied him upon the later. 
Neither the fearless obstinacy with which he had con- 
fronted State prosecutions in England, nor his panegyric 
on the polity of the Stars and Stripes served to arouse 
for him among his hosts any feeling stronger than 
curiosity. His wounded vanity expressed itself in some 
disparaging remarks on the guests who occasionally pene- 
trated his seclusion beneath an obscure tavern roof on 
Long Island or on his farm at North Hampstead. This 
second sojourn, however, in the New World was marked 
by much literary activity, and bore fruit in books once 
as widely circulated and as long remembered as any of 
his political pieces, or even as his Rural Rides, Samuel 
Johnson's Dictionary contained few definitions more 
humorously expressive of his views than were some of the 
instances and examples provided by Cobbett for his 
English Grammar. Johnson's conversational identifica- 
tion of the devil with the first Whig had no place in the 
great work ; this, however, actually does contain such 



126 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

terminological explanations as : Tory ; one who adheres 
to the ancient constitution of the State and the apostolic 
hierarchy of the Church of England. Whig ; the name 
of a faction. Pension ; an allowance made to anyone 
without equivalent, and in England generally understood 
to mean pay given to a State hireling for treason against 
his country. Pensioner ; a slave of State, hired by a 
stipend to obey his master. Oats ; a grain in England 
generally given to horses, but in Scotland the support of 
the people. Excise ; a hateful tax levied upon com- 
modities, adjudged not by the common judges of 
property but by wretches hired by those to whom the 
excise is paid . Grub Street ; the name of a London 
street much inhabited by writers of small histories, 
dictionaries, and temporary poems, whence any mean 
production is called Grub Street. Lexicographer ; 
a writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge. Cobbett's 
specimens of verbal exposition in his English Grammar 
might have been suggested by Johnson in his 
lighter vein ; such are the nouns of multitude, House of 
Commons, den of thieves. Borouji^h tyrants, gangs of 
men more cruel than fiends and more ignorant than 
brutes. Participles : a working man is more worthy 
than a titled blunderer who lives in idleness. The 
English Grammar, however, includes much that is really 
sensible and useful, and shows the thoroughness with 
which, as a preliminary to composition, Cobbett had 
studied the rudiments, genius, and idiom of his native 
tongue. Here the creator of Radical journalism showed 
himself almost as strong a Tory as Johnson. Thus he is 
bitter against the romanesque relative " who " or 
" which " for " that." Cobbett also showed something of 
his own obstinacy or wrongheadedness in absolutely de- 
nouncing a cotamon use of the expression " than whom," 
condemning as downright ungrammatical such expressions 
as : " The Duke of Argyle, than whom no man was more 
hearty in the cause ", ; " Cromwell, than whom no man 
was better skilled in artifice." In each case, exclaims 
Cobbett, it should be " who," for it is nominative and 
not objective, and is, indeed, abbreviated for " no man, 
etc., was better skilled than he was." Milton, continues 
Cobbett, may have made the blunder classical in his 
" Beelzebub, than whom, Satan except, none higher sat." 



WORK OF WILLIAM CMDBBETT 127 

But real responsibility for it as a colloquial form rests 
with our Parliament house ; its prevalence there is quite 
enough to make it presumptively incorrect. Cobbett 
would have been on safer ground had he censured the 
gratuitous conjunction introduced before the relative. 
Thus, " A pretty Government to depend on, and which 
our stupid press is lauding to the skies." Also a similar 
solecism more prevalent, perhaps, since Cobbett's time 
than during it, and reaching its height in the Disraelian 

disregard of the relative's full force : " , not 

experienced in feminine society, arid who found a little 
difficulty in sustaining conversation." Self-taught men 
have often a weakness for fine words that they do not 
understand. Not so Cobbett, who protests against ten 
shillings per bushel, instead of a bushel, because per is 
not English, and is to most people a mystical sort of 
word. Criticism of this kind may seem carping. But as 
the journalist who first directly addressed or profoundly 
influenced the masses, and who, whatever his more or 
less mercenary t-ergiversations, was perhaps the shrewdest 
man of his ^y, Cobbett formulated some sound advice 
to newspaper men in his instructions to his nephew. " Sit 
down," he said, " to write what you have thought, and 
not to think what you shall write. Write unhesitatingly, 
taking the words as they come, not pausing for choice 
of words. To secure a good style, beware of self -con- 
sciousness, which is always the cause of mannerism and 
involution." It was during his second stay in America 
that, on the eve of his departure home, Cobbett dis- 
interred Tom Paine's remains from their unconsecrated 
grave and brought them, together with his scanty 
luggage, across the Atlantic. Byron's familiar epigram 
(January, 1820) is at once so profane and so pointless 
that its quotation may be left to Cobbett's full-length 
biographers. The year after Cobbett's death, the 
auctioneer refused to include the bones in the effects 
offered for sale. Mr. Carlyle, who shares with Mr. Smith 
the honour of succeeding Huish and Sir Henry Bulwer 
as Cobbett's biographer, has succeeded in bringing down 
the story of these relics only to the year 1844. On his 
release from prison in 1812, the chair at a dinner to 
Cobbett had been taker! by Sir Francis Burdett. For 
some time the wealthy Radical M.P. and the needy con- 



128 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

ductor of the Register continued to be cordial fellow- 
labourers in the cause of parliamentary reform. Cobbett's 
money obligations to Burdett, and a difference as to 
whether a sum of £2,000 had been a gift or a loan, 
produced the coolness that might have been expected. 
On Cobbett's reappearance (18 19) Burdett cold-shoul- 
dered him, and would have nothing to do with another 
banquet. The feast of welcome was therefore presided 
over by Orator Hunt, whom Cobbett now supported in 
his candidature for Westminster against Burdett. Cobbett 
could show himself imperious as well as quarrelsome. 
The philosophic Radicalism of the men who made the 
Westminster Review was above his head ; he resented 
even the appearance of its acceptance with Burdett without 
himself having been consulted on the subject. Mean- 
while Cobbetjt's personal finances were in as ill a state 
as his journalistic fortunes. In 1820 came the re- 
actionary Six Acts. One of these measures was declared 
not without some excuse by Cobbett to be the weapon 
which Castlereagh had specially forged against the 
Register. Cobbett, in 18 16, had been able, as has been 
seen, to secure for his Register a circulation as yet unheard 
of, and to make it a valuable property because of its 
exemption from the tax to which larger publications 
of the kind were subject. His circulation at the cost 
of twopence gave him, he calculated, a penny profit on 
every copy sold.' The repressive Tory measure of 
1819-20 provided a rearrangement of the newspaper 
stamp duties which compelled Cobbett to choose between 
giving up his paper altogether or selling at a price 
prohibitive of a wide sale. From twopence he had to 
raise the price to sixpence. The newspaper duty and 
the cost of producing every copy left Cobbett without 
any margin of profit on his paper. Even could Cobbett 
have produced his paper for nothing, one of the Six 
Acts prohibited all periodicals, not being monthly 
publications, from appearing at a less price than sixpence . 
His choice therefore lay between turning the Register 
into a monthly magazine or charging sixpence for it 
as a weekly sheet. The war levied by the law against 
the newspaper men of Cobbett's time went further even 

" Carlyle's Cobbett, p. 215. 



WORK OF WILLIAM COBBETT 129 

than this. The Six Acts further required all newspaper 
publishers to give security in advance for any fines 
incurred by blasphemous or seditious utterances. That 
provision placed' a fresh and severe strain on the resources 
not only of Cobbett, but of all other Radical journalists 
of the time, especially Wdlliam Hone and the Hunts, of 
whom more will be said presently. 

Neither Cobbett nor his comrades of the press had 
many friends in Parliament. Tiemey, who advocated 
Cobbett's prosecution in 1810, denounced indeed, ten 
years later, the journalistic clauses as well as the other 
portions of the Six Acts. It was not the prospect of any, 
cordial welcome at St. Stephens that had turned 
Cobbett's thoughts in that direction, but the spirit of the 
notoriety -hunter militant. The dissolution following the 
death of George III. iri 1820 brought him forward as 
parliamentary candidate for Coventry. Some of the money 
necessary for that purpose could come from the Reform 
Fund which he had helped to start. Ftu-ther sums were 
to be raised by aii appeal for modest help to seventy 
gentlemen of fortune. He came out of the contest at the 
bottom of the poll, and narrowly escaped death from the 
violence of the mob. His sturdy defence of himself 
was only reinforced by one of his supporters iri time 
enough to prevent his butchery near the polling booth. 
Cobbett's failure on this occasion was attributed by him 
to the immense sums his opponents spent in bribery, 
and to his own lack of means and inclination to follow 
their example. His account of the whole business in the 
Political Register is a mixture of abuse and incoherence 
showing but too clearly his disgust and mortification 
at this new discomfiture. Nor does he seem to have 
escaped any of the personal insults and indignities inci- 
dental to the election fights of that period. The land- 
lord of the Bull Head, the inn outside Coventry at which 
Cobbett stayed, was threatened with the loss of his licence 
unless he instantly expelled the Radical candidate from 
his house. Radical voters were terrorised from going 
to the poll. Eventually the two seats were won by, 
-' Bear " EUice and Peter Moore, an Indian nabob, the 
last of these defeating Cobbett by more than a thousand 
votfes. This ill-starred contest completed Cobbett's ruin. 
He was sold up for the benefit of his creditors, some 

9 



130 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

of mrh'opi, like Sir Francis Burdettj refused to press their 
claims upon him. One further blow Cobbett had pro- 
voked from destiny. iWlright, from the first his btisiness 
pianflger and nowi his open adversary, brought against 
him a libel action in which Cobbett cut a very sorry 
figure indeed. And now, hunted from pillar to postj 
Cobbett could not pay the paper -makers and printers for 
bringing out his next Political Register. Even from 
this desperate strait he foimd deliverance through the 
good offices of a Southampton friend, George Rogers. 
This gentleman had helped him before ; he now came 
forward in time to save the Register's life. Neither 
reverses, miscarriages, nor persecutions, not the loss of 
friends and the successive failures, actual or threatened, 
of his undertakings ,• not gods and men leagued together 
against him could turn Cobbett from the path he had 
jnarked out for himself, or could extort from him the con- 
fession of defeat at any single point. Penniless, friend- 
less, worn in health, exhausted in spirits, he settled down 
in 1 82 1 to the cultivation of a small piece of ground 
he had acquired in Kensington, varied by literary work 
as severe and as unbroken as if the day of misforttme 
had not dawned upon him. " They now," he told the 
electors of Westminster, " boast of having sunk me in 
good earnest. But in truth this is merely shipping a 
sea. Like every, other sinking I have experienced, it 
will be at last a mounting." Certainly, the Register, 
never displayed more freshness, vigour, and variety than 
when (January, 1821), in a cheap Brompton lodging, 
family life with their children was begun again by Cobbett 
and his wife with a total capital of three shillings for 
the new start. His exemplary wife's cheering constancy 
to her husband in his darkest hours is indeed the golden 
thread traversing and often beautifying the succession of 
tempestuous vicissitudes that constitute his strange career. 
As an illustration of the tenses, Cobbett in the English 
Grammar had written about the fourth George's xmhappy 
consort : " Queen Caroline defies the tyrants, has defied 
them, and will defy, them." In the Political Register he 
now invented a letter from the Queen to her husband. 
About the same time, by way of investing his paper 
with more novelties, he put his attacks on Canning in a 
draiuatic setting. A coarse woodcut above the letter- 



WORK OF WILLIAM COBBETT 131 

press showed in the background a haggard and famished 
multitude. -' iWhat complaint have you, Mr. Canning," 
asked the judge, " against these poor, worn, pale, ragged 
men, with padlocks on their mouths and thumb -screws 
on their hands? " " Can it be," was Canning's reply in 
accents of tremulous horror, '•' that you do not know these 
are Radicals, men:, that is, who wish to destroy, the throne, 
the peerage, with all property, and to obliterate morals 
and religion from the human heart? " " Where are your 
proofs? " inquired the judg'e. " Oh, they are too cunning 
to let me have any." " Then, sir," was the judicial 
reply, " it really means that Englishmen may not enter 
a room to hear speeches or lectures on government and 
political economy without offending against the laws." 
This, however, scarcely proved of flavour strong enough 
for the Register's readers. A fresh sensation suggested 
itself in an attack on the clergy. And here, without the 
compensation of any literary effect, Cobbett is betrayed 
into fallacies that the slightest exercise of the logical 
faculty would have enabled the most shallow free-thinker 
of the time to avoid. The Bishop of London was charged 
with saying that the French Revolution had been caused 
by the clergy knowing less about books than their people. 
Hence, the Bishop argued, a nation's spiritual teachers 
ought not only to have received the education of scholars 
but should be furnished with libraries, housed beneath 
comfortable roofs, and stately, rooms equipped with every 
appliance for literary study. How, asked Cobbett, did 
this agree with the doctrines of Christianity, or with 
its Founder's example and words ? Did He choose for 
His apostles men of great estates, with a retinue of 
indoor servants and their manor houses, and outside a 
regiment of gamekeepers ? Or did he insinuate that for 
its success His word must be taught by men dressed in 
lawn, lolling in coaches drawn by, six horses ? Cobbett 
was of course far too clever not to know what 
pitiful clap -trap all this logical trash was. Cobbett 
does not seem to have tarred himself with the brush of 
Paine's infidelity. By way now of vindicating his 
orthodoxy, he published Cobbett' s Monthly Sermons. 
These were among the most respectable as well as most 
successful things he ever did. The subject m,atter showed 
good taste, good temper, and fressdoni' froja off^psive 



132 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

personal reference in its handling. The style had earnest- 
ness, dignity, and restraint. Sometimes, of course, he 
let himself go. Still smarting from the wounds inflicted 
by Castlereagh and the Six Acts, in Naboth's Vineyard, 
a discourse on the Carlile and Hone prosecutions, Cobbett 
returns to his old and most denunciatory form. Nothing, 
however, could be more wholesome and helpful than the 
hints in his Cottage Economy, written about the same time, 
for improving the homes and everyday life of the working 
classes. Among other suggestions till then undreamt 
of, this work anticipated several features in the pro- 
gramme of Young England's peasantry reform promul- 
gated a quarter of a century later. In the specification 
of a porch, an oven, and a tank as indispensable for 
every home, Cobbett almost verbally anticipated Disraeli's 
most constant and characteristic recommendation. While 
Cobbett was still bringing out his Register in his 
Brompton lodging, Castlereagh, tortured to death by foul 
calumnies, committed suicide at Foot's Cray. In a con- 
gratulatory letter to his friend Joseph Swann, then im- 
prisoned at Chester for complicity in the Reform 
agitations, " How base," renaarked Cobbett, " not to exult 
at the suicide, since his life meant a mass of pauperism 
hitherto unknown, and the enrichment of his own family 
out of the people's labour." Cobbett's exultation over 
the tragic incident may not have been in the best taste. 
His words about the occasion are, however, high bred 
refinement itself in comparison with Byron's references to 
the subject both in Don Juan and especially in his Castle- 
reagh Epitaph. At last the pressure exercised by Cobbett 
and one or two other newspaper men had made the Whigs 
pledge themselves to parliamentary reform. Cobbett's 
view of the situation, and of the agencies which could 
alone rouse Whiggism from its lethargy, had been justified 
at every step. In 1828 began the Duke of Wellington's 
Administration, which lasted till the formation of Lord 
Grey's Reform Cabinet. During most of that time there 
seemed no possibility, of an enfranchising measure soon 
being introduced. Lord Althorp declared the English 
people had become perfectly indifferent to the question, 
and that he had no intention of moving in it aga,in.' 

■ Mirror of Parliament, 1832. 



WORK OF WILLIAM COBBETT 133 

Francis Place, the Charing Cross tailor, co-operated with 
Cobbett to keep Refonfl alive. But for these, it might 
have died out before the days of July (1830) in Paris? 
made it a practical and pressing question in England. 
Throughout their deahrigs with and treatment of (the 
Whigs, Cobbett and his allies did but practically illustrate 
the Tory as well as the Radical belief that Whiggism 
never moved without the application of the Radical goad. 
Having now impartially abused all politicians, leaders and 
followers alike, Cobbett turned to the clergy. The fire that 
he had reserved for them was contained in a History of 
the Protestant Reformation (1824-5). This work merely 
puts into homely language the attacks on the Reformation 
made by the popish historian Lingard. It never passed 
for more than a literary curiosity and is deprived of 
any value by its confusions and mistakes.' Cobbett's 
presentation of English ecclesiastical history seems to 
have been conceived purely in the spirit of mischief. 
It was a congenial task to describe the pretences on which 
the Reformation was effected as " base, hypocritical, and 
bloody " ; he had, however, no wish to see the work 
undone. ,With the passionate conviction of profound 
ignorance, he declared the Anglican clergy of various 
ranks personified the most malignant influences of the 
time. Yet, Protestantism being here, his mission began 
and ended with an exposure of the odious way in which 
it had come, biut against the monarchy as the cause of 
Protestantism or as an institution he had little or nothing 
to say. Still he needed some new object of attack and, if 
he spared the Crown, what was there for him but the 
Church ? 

It was Cobbett's way never to recognise accomplished 
facts if they told against him. In 1825 nothing could 
have been more undoubted and complete than the wreck 
of his worldly fortunes. Yet this was the moment he 
chose, on the strenglth of Sir Thomas Beevor's support, 
for opposing at Preston the future fourteenth Earl of 
Derby, the " Rupert of Debate." All that he got by 
this was to send up the price of votes at Preston to a 
figure which caused the successful candidate, the future 
Lord Derby, an outlay of £15,000. It was only after a 

' For instances ot these see Carlyle's Cohbett, p. 243. 



134 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

parliatSeHtary quest of seven years that Cobbett fouiid b£ 
seat at Pldham. At one among" the public meeting^ 
which he attended during this time, a characteristic 
glimpse of him was caught by, Heine, then visiting 
England. To Heine Cobbett personified the -' spirit of 
impetuous and undistinguishing revolt against political 
institutions." Once only did the German poet see the 
English agitator, at an uproarious -' Crown and Anchor " 
dinner, with his scolding red face, his Radical laugh', 
in which venom of hate mingles with exultation at his" 
enemies' approaching fall. " He is," continued Heine, 
" a chained house-dog, who falls with equal fury on every 
one he does not know, and often bites in their calves 
the best friends of the dwelling. Because of this incessant 
and indiscriminate barking, the illustrious thieves (who 
plunder England think it no good to throw the growling 
Cobbett a bone to stop his mouth. At this time Cobbett's 
peri was for the most part innocently employed on the 
purely social subjects of domestic economy in his paper. 
His speeches, however, were political, and grew increas- 
ingly violent and provocative. The whole country seethed 
with disturbance and discontent. Pillage, rick -burning, 
and machine -breaking expressed the popular indignation 
at the delay with parliamentary, reform. The root of 
the mischief was seeri in Cobbett's monthly serial, on 
Gifford's hint, called Tuppenny Trash. A Sussex 
labourer, tried for rick -burning, alleged in defence that 
he had been instigated to the crime by Cobbett's 
writings. In July, 1831, Cobbett, once more prosecuted 
for incitetnent to violence, made the conduct of his own 
defence an occasion for denouncing the Whig" Government. 
That, he said, had done more to harass free speech in 
seven months than the Tories had done in as many years . 
His management of his case was also noticeable for the 
adroitness with which he proved from Brougham's own 
admission in the witness-box that the highest law officer 
of the Crown, the Chancellor himself, even after the 
incriminating articles had appeared and the prosecution 
was decided on, in a friendly letter to Cobbett's son, 
asked to see his father's latest writings. Brougham's 
evidence was accompanied by like testimony and general 
certificates of good character from; Lord Melbourne, then 
Home Secretary, and the then Earl of JEladnor, Dr, Rusey'g" 



WORK OF WILLIAM COBBETT 135 

cousiii or uncle, wh^, as Lord Folkestone and a Liberal 
Oaiember of Parliament, had been in personal touch' with 
Cobbett. Denman, the prosecuting counsel, amazed by 
the appearance of all these 'great men in the witness-box, 
felt no doubt of Cobbett's bfeing acquitted without the 
jurors leaving the court. " The truth is," perorated 
Cobbett, " the Wihigs are the Rehoboams of England, 
scourging with scorpions where the Tories chastised with 
whips.'* As it was, the dramatic surprises which Cobbett 
prepared for the court had the effect of preventing the 
jury, after being locked up for fifteen hours, from agree- 
ing on a verdict. Cobbett was therefore released. The 
whole episode marks an era in newspaper history because 
it was the last instance of the State prosecuting a news- 
paper man for political offences like those alleged against 
Cobbett.' His opponents had now so completely played 
his own game that Cobbett might have had almost any 
constituency created by the 1832 Reform Bill that he 
wished. So confident, not without reason, of this was; 
Cobbett himself as to challenge contradiction when saying 
that, if the Whigs wished to keep him out of Parliament, 
they must carry a Bill against him through both Houses. 
He chose Oldham rather than Manchester out of the two 
seats definitely offered him because its smaller dimensions 
rendered his return less troublesome and more sure. His 
hatred of the Wihigs had not prevented his supporting 
through all its stages the Grey Reform Bill. Appro- 
priately enough, therefore, he took his seat in the first 
Parliament which the measure had created. Before a 
session elapsed he had discovered that physical strength 
and courage were more necessary for an M.P. than for a 
soldier. Then, of course, came the inevitable grievance : 
-' Fancy," he growled, " only fifteen inches of space 
allowed to each man.*' A manner quiet, deferential, and 
even subdued, did not prevent his maiden utterance being 
a failure. The debate on the Speech from the Throne 
gave him the chance of moving the rejection of the 
Address, iwith the result that he was beaten by a majorijty 
of three hundred. A little later, in a thoroughly 
characteristic spirit, he attacked Sir Robert Peel, on the 

' The proceedings against some earlier partners in newspaper enterprise, the 
brothers Hunt, had taken place in 1812. They were not mixed up with charges 
of political agitation, and were, indeed, only libel actions. 



136 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

pretext, ilTdeed, that Peel, by re-establishing the gold stan- 
dard in 1819, had made himself unfit to remain a Privy 
Councillor, but really for no other reason than Cobbett's 
own disgust at Peel's extraordinary popularity in his 
High Tory and Protectionist diays. " Wordy and absurd " 
was Mr. Gladstone's description of this onslaught ;» its 
faults did not, however, prevent Peel's discomposure from 
throwing him into^ a perspiration which caused his shirt 
collar to be soaked and lie down fiat upon his neck- 
cloth. In the period of Cobbett's entering it, the popular 
Chamber was, or had recently been, scarcely less aristo- 
cratic in its composition and social prejudices than the 
hereditary House of our own time. Fairness was, how- 
ever, then, as always, one of its characteristics. It could 
not welcome Cobbett, but saw in him a clever and repre- 
sentative new member entitled to be heard, and listened 
to him q.ccordingly. The elderly, red -faced gentleman, in: 
dust -coloured coat and drab breeches with gaiters, for 
some time excited only curiosity. By degrees he made 
himself a really good debater and, avoiding the sallies of 
veihemtent vituperation which at times marked his writings, 
had no difficulty, whenever he wished it, in catching the 
Speaker's eye. 

Thomas Carlyle's essay on Sir Walter Scott has a 
passage about the eighteenth-century reaction from! 
Wertherism, Byronism^ and other sentimentalism, tearful 
or spasmodic, fruit of internal wind, in which British 
literature long lay sprawling. Of that healthier move- 
ment he takes for one of its instances Cobbett, the pattern 
John Bull of his century, strong as a rhinoceros, a 
most brave phenomenon, with singular humanities and 
genialities shining through his thick skin. This, in rather 
different words, is very much Heine's estimate of the 
man. Cobbett himself confessed to never having been of 
what he called an accommodating nature. The most 
skilful, perhaps, among his monograpTiers, Henry Bulwer, 
eventually Lord Bailing, conveys the same fact when he 
treats him as " the contentious man " ; while Heine, in 
his reminiscence of the " Crown and Anchor " dinner 
already quoted, bears testimony to the same effect when 
seeing in him' a man not to be liked but to be adtnired. 

' Morley's Life of Gladstone, vol. i. p. 114. 



WORK OF WILLIAM COBBETT 137 

Intellectual tastes and capacities above his station iti life 
constituted the grievance with which Cobbett was bom, 
of which, while a child, he became morbidly conscious, 
and the discouragement of which, by an untoward destiny, 
embittered him aglainst all who, rightly or wrongly, were 
more fortunate than himself. At the age of eleven he 
went supperless to rest by a haystack in Kew Gardens 
that he might buy Swift's Tale of a Tub. Such wa-s 
the literature which produced in him what he called a 
sort of birth of intellect. The revolt of the North 
American colonies woke in him the partisan of freedom: 
and justice. By an untrained and untaught enthusiast 
these creditable sympathies were of course often extrava- 
gantly and coarsely expressed. That in no way detracts 
from, but rather renders more admirable and conspicuous, 
his success in making his native Anglo-Saxon the effective 
medium of strong, clear thought, clothed in words that 
still give Cobbett a place among the masters of English 
prose. His argumentative and controversial manner 
suited the audience to which it was addressed, but in 
literary quality falls far below the descriptive passages 
of the Rural Rides and the Porcupine Letters. For 
freshness, for felicity of touch, condensed suggestiveness 
of phnase, truth and originality of local colour, Cobbett's 
nature sketches stood quite by themselves in English 
literature till the appearance in 1878 of the Gamekeeper 
at Home, by Richard Jeflferies. This was a man whose 
earliest experiences were much those of Cobbett, and 
who, while absolutely without any of his special views 
and characteristics in life or thought, resembled Cobbett 
in having perfected his knack of literary expression, not 
by, literary study, but by feeding and training in the open 
air a .'genius for accurately observing the daily and nightly 
succession of rural nature's sights and sounds. Since 
the day of Cobbett, even of Jefiferies, the agriculturlal 
labourers and journeymen, specially addressed by Cobbett 
in the first number of his Register sold at twopence, have 
wanted neither political champions under signatures like 
" A Voice from the Plough," nor picturesque describers 
of their home life. So far, they have found neither a 
second Jefferies nor, in the other aspects and interests of 
their existence, any among their social eqiials or superiors 
who has united, with a fraction of Cobbett's genius, the 



138 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

driving power which wrested freedoni of utterance for 
the journalist giad representation in Parliament for all 
taxpayers. Made of the sajmfe stuff as Defoe, trained for 
journalism chiefly by the study of Swift, there still stands 
alone in newspaper story Cobbett's lifelong display of the 
courage which leads a forlorn hope, combined with the 
strong patience unsUrpass^ by, the cart-horses he tended 
in his boyhood, and the obstinacy which wins, not from! 
a conviction that victory, is certain, but from a resolve 
to ignore even the accomplished fact of defeat. His] 
entire conduct of the Political Register was an unbroken 
war. Neither imprisonment, bankruptcy, nor even 
absolute ruin shook his endurance. The peri which was 
his sword he surrendered to no captain of any opposing 
force less than death . His work was fulfilled ; the results 
of his sufferings endure. Some of his phrases and nick- 
names still live, as, for instance, " ^olus Canning," the 
" pink -nosed Liverpool," " unbaptized, buttonless black- 
guards " (William Penn and his followers), and '-' the 
bloody old Times." These gems of vituperation, what- 
ever their literary demerit, answered their purpose at the 
time by sticking, and still gather up into themselves 
something of the history of the time. In the nineteenth 
century Jacob Bright never produced a happier effect 
in the House of Commons than when, referring to the 
family borough at that time represented by the Duke of 
Marlborough's second son, he spoke of Lord Randolph 
Churchill as the member for Woodcock. So no verbal 
device of Cobbett's proved more successful than his habit 
of addressing the eloquent Erskine by, his second title of 
Lord Clackmannan. 



CHAETER VI 

THE TWO HUNTS, PERRY, AND STUART 

Leigh Hunt's boyhood — Appearance among the journalists — Launching the 
famous Examiner — Its founders' aims and methods — Some of its chief 
features — A model for later journalism — State prosecutions — The Hunts in 
prison — Contemporary estimates of Rimini — The Indicator essays — American 
criticism — Leigh Hunt's Skimpolism — Byron and Hunt on the Liberal — Ill- 
assorted yoke-mates — The Cockney and the nobleman part — James Perry 
and the Gazetteer — He buys the Morning Chronicle — And takes front rank 
among the " able editors " — Famous writers on the Chronicle — Perry as a 
social light — His influence on the journalistic profession — Struggles of his 
successor, Black, against successive misfortunes and disadvant^es — Pott and 
Slurk in real life — " Pickwickian " insults — Daniel Stuart's enterprises and 
helpers — Sir J. Mackintosh — Course of the Post and the Courier. 

The greatest of Cobbett's eighteenth -century prede- 
cessors, Philip Francis, had, before going to India, been' 
a clerk in the War Office. Of the writers who in 
Cobbett's time and on his side completed his work in 
btiilding up the Liberal press, the most active and the best 
known, Leigh Hunt, was, like so many journalists of our 
own day,' a War Office clerk also, while regularly work- 
ing for a journal which gave him his earliest opening 
in print some time before his Examiner days. Bom of 
West Indian parents, Leigh Hunt's father, Isaac Hunt, 
settled and practised as a lawyer in Philadelphia while 
it was still an English colony. His loyalty to the British 
connection brought him into odium with the New World 
patriots, and, after a narroiw escape of being literally 
tarred and feathered, caused him to take refuge in flight. 
Coming to England, he settled at Southgate, arid took 
pupils, one of whom gave a name to his second sori, 

' Such instances, to mention only a few, would be those of Tom Hood, son 
of Thomas Hood who wrote the Song of the Shirt ; Arthur k Beckett, as well as 
certainly one of his brothers, Albert, possibly another ; Clement W. Scott, son of 
William Scott, Rector of Hoxton, an early Saturday Reviewer, and E. Barrington 
Fonblanque, Albany Fonblanque's nephew. 

139 



140 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Leigh. A school contemporary of Charles Lamb, Leigh 
Hunt was, like him', intended for Atigilician orders'. But 
he lived in a stirring time and among men in the habit of 
freely discussing its events and personages. Conscious of 
literary power, he had decided while yet a youth to become 
a journalist. So far as literary style can be conveyed 
by teaching, the best lessons in ft, as in: his general course 
of reading, were given by his father, who, in the musical 
voice that had gone to so many hearts, and with the grand 
manner which had made him so many friends, used, when 
they were seated together in the King's Bench Prison, to 
read the best passages of Barrow's, Massillon's, and 
Saurin's pulpit masterpieces to his wife and youngest 
son, stopping at points of special excellence to explain 
the art which made them beautiful and good. Fromi 
Chaucer to Pope the English poets, from Homer to 
Lucian the gteat Gteek authors, as well as the Latin, 
beginning with Livy and ending with Pliny, were the 
subjects of his solitary study, while his earliest essays 
were modelled on Voltaire. In the year during which 
he became bf age (1805), his brother John', whom his 
father had set up in life as a printer, started a paper 
called The News, and gave Leigh a chance as his 
theatrical critic. Three years later the Hunts produced a 
paper destined to long'er life land wider fam!e than thfeir 
first venture. This was the Examiner. The title had 
received an earlier distinction from the Swift -Bolirigbroke 
sheet .started in 17 10, itself suggesting Addison's ill- 
starred and transient Whig Examiner a little later. 
Among the Hunts' successors with the Examiner were 
Fonblanque and one or two more, all to be mentioned in 
their due place. The Examiner as a title only dis- 
appeared from the newspaper stalls in 1880. Leigh 
Hunt's personal appearance during his maturer years was 
closely reproduced by his son Thornton Hunt, a leading 
member of the Daily Telegraph's editorial staff during 
the sixties, on whom, as there will be occasion to mention 
him later, this is not the place to dwell . The West Indian 
origin of the Hunt family showed itself in the dark 
complexion and the jet black hair, the brilliant and 
variously expressive eyes which, together with figures 
noticeably straight and erect, his sons, Leigh included, 
had inherited frogj their father. Himself fond of con- 



THE HUNTS, PEKRY, AND STUART 141 

necting his personal peculiarities with, in his own phrase, 
the tropical blood in his veins, apart from the Middle- 
sex birthplace, Leigh Hunt was not an Englishman ; 
from his mother, an Americanised Irishwoman, he 
inherited all the Celtic bitterness against Anglo-Saxon 
domination and the British Government. 

Since Cobbett's hit with the Political Register launched 
six years earlier, there had entered no such force into the 
newspaper system' ias was imparted by the two sons of the 
newly created clergyman ' and his wife in the Examiner. 
Its first tiumber wlas brought out by th« Hunts jn the open- 
ing week of 1808. Except as regards absence of j)oliticaI 
connection with all corporate interests, factions, parties, 
and sects, the men who made the Examiner and the man 
who created the Register had little or nothing in common. 
By way of emancipating himself from all restraint upon 
absolute freedom of newspaper utterance, Leigh Hunt, 
having retained his War Office clerkship for about a year 
after he had begim to edit the Examiner, then, in all 
proper terms, sent in his resignation. A playgoer from 
childhood, Leigh Hunt, while, as has been already 
mentioned, theatrical critic for the News, had received 
Charles Lamb's warmest praise for the independence, 
insight, freshness, and originality which had marked his' 
dealing with the stage and its ornaments from Siddons 
to Munden. As he had written about players, so he soon 
let it be seen he intended handling politicians of all parties, 

■ In \as Autobiography, Leigh Hunt does justice to his father's pulpit eloquence, 
to the popularity always secured by his handsome presence and expressive 
delivery. The colonial lawyer had a university education both at Philadelphia 
and at New York. On settling in England, he was ordained by Lowth, Bishop 
of London. His first pastoral charge was at Bentinck Chapel, Paddington. 
Then, while living at Hampstead, he is spoken of as taking duty at Southgate. 
Here he had the good fortune to attract the favourable notice of the last Duke 
of Chandos (family name Leigh), whose title, going in 1789 to the Grenvilles, 
enlarged itself a generation later to the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos. 
With such a patron, Isaac Hunt must secure high Church promotion, probably a 
mitre. The Duke actually made him private tutor to his nephew, James Henry 
Leigh, whose entire style, patronymic and Christian name, was taken by Isaac 
Hunt for the baptismal appellation of his best known son. Eagle Hall, South- 
gate, was Isaac Hunt's house, and Leigh Hunt's birthplace ; but even a Duke's 
good offices could not keep an expensive ecclesiastic out of trouble. Leigh Hunt's 
early recollections were chiefly of a room in the King's Bench Prison, where his 
father was confined for debt, relieving his captivity by drinking claret and 
reading Horace. 



142 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

wKatever their achievemterits or rank. In his theatrical 
estimates, Leigh Hunt had escaped the imputation of 
interested motives by shimning personal acquaintance with 
any actor as, in his lovm words, -" a vice not to be th'dught 
of " ; he was equally careful not to compromise his inde^^ 
pendence by accepting free admissions. Honestly pre- 
pared, as it cannot be doubted, to sacrifice much when 
necessary to a principle, he kept his judgment studiously 
free from all suspicion of texternal influence, of bias 
from above or below, by holding himself aloof from all 
political persons, by never accepting social invitations 
from party leaders or their hangers-on. Till Byron 
visited him in prison, he had shown no inclination to pass 
half an hour in any nobleman's society. He had defined 
the object of the Examiner as the production of parlia- 
mentary reform, general liberality, of opinion, especially 
freedom from superstition, and a reproduction, irC its 
plain business-like English, of graces coming from 
loyalty to the great masters of our national prose . Every 
item in this programme was fulfilled. Particularly in 
keen criticism of public afifairs and personages, com- 
bined with finished phraseology and all qualities that raise 
journalism to literature, Leigh Himt set a newspaper 
pattern which has been followed by succeeding genera- 
tions even more systematically than by that which wit- 
nessed the Examiner's birth. Why, it was asked, should 
" Parisian writer " be a compliment and " literary 
Londoner " or " Cockney school" a term of reproach? 
Because, as Leigh Hunt was ready, to answer, he and his 
friends, though differing much from each other in 
character and in direction of intellect as well as in 
literary manner, resembled each other in not cultivating 
what Cicero calls " urbanity." They could not have moved 
in a circle less small had they been inhabitants of a country 
town. That reproach against the Cockney, penmen was 
little heard after the proof of what the best among 
them could do, given by the Examiner. Radical this 
paper gloried in being, but its Radicalism was no more 
that of Joseph Hume than of Gradgrind. It abhorred 
statistics and aimed, not at pushing Bills through Parlia- 
ment or wrecking them, but at permeating classes and 
masses alike with sentiment and knowledge that would 
hasten and illuminate the day of democracy. Proud of 



THE HUNTS, PERRY, AND STUART 143 

his fainily''s desceiit from the Puritan stock transplanted 
for freedom's sake from the Old World to the New, 
Leigh Hunt liked equally to connect his origin with 
some of the seventeenth -century Cavaliers » In Leigh Hunt 
himself Byron saw something of Pym or Hampden boril 
out of due timte. He iwas also particularly impressed 
by the austerity and, as he called it, the extraordinary 
independence of character which made Leigh Hunt hold 
most celebrities of the time at arm's length. To Burdett, 
though in a way his hero, Hunt had never spoken. On 
iWilliam Cobbett he had never set eyes. His own name- 
sake, Cobbett's later friend, Henry, otherwise ■' Orator " 
Hunt was imknown to him in everjrthing but name. Leigh 
Hunt was, however, fond of tracing back family connec- 
tion with Anglo-Saxon politics across the Atlantic in the 
following more or less humorous way. " Let us hear what 
brother Jonathan says " were the words in which George 
Washington showed the value he set upon the wisdom of 
the Jonathan Trumbull in whom Washington's confidence 
personified American common sense. Trumbull's nine- 
teenth-century descendant came to England that he might 
study painting under West, was arrested, and might have 
been shot for a spy had not Isaac Hunt effectively inter- 
vened on his behalf. " That," as he recalled the incident 
Leigh Hunt would say, " is the extent of our family associa- 
tion with political people on either side of the Atlantic. 
How absurd, therefore, to talk of our paper being a 
political organ." The Hunts, indeed, refused all dinner 
invitations, private or public, rejected all personal 
overtures from party leaders ; they could, therefore, with 
perfect truth say that they had started and that they, 
carried on the Examiner with no other views than those 
of promoting the public good and of earning a livelihood 
for themselves. Taking the public into his confidence, 
Leigh Hunt confessed, with an airiness as much a part 
of his nature as the strenuous gravity of the Common- 
wealth men observed by Byron, that he always thought 
more about getting his verses into print than raking 
his opponents with heavy political broadsides. " I 
galloped," he continued, " through my editorial duties, 
took a world of superfluous pains in the writing, sat 
up very, late at night, and was a very trying pergon to 
compositors iaiid newsmen." 



144 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

The first hebdomadal calling itself the Examiner 
belonged, as has been seen in an earlier chapter, to the 
second decade of the eighteenth century ; it provided Swift 
and his friends with a means of animating and organising 
the opposition to Walpole. Addison's iWhig sheet, with 
something like the same title, lived for too short a time 
to exercise much influence, literary or political. The 
second Examiner, therefore, having any claim to notice 
was that which made Leigh and John Hunt the fiiist 
founders of the weekly journal, in its best and still exist- 
ing form. The blood of the martyrs was the seed of 
the Church. State prosecutions, together with the abuse 
of the orthodox, made the Examiner during the first _year 
of its life a commercial success^ with a regular circulation 
of two thousajid, still steadily rising. Naturally this 
prosperous journalistic hit provoked comparison with the 
luckiest and most famous of Cobbett's ventures, some 
half-dozen years before. It also suggested something 
in the nature of a personal coincidence between writers 
at all other points differing so widely as William Cobbett 
and Leigh Hunt. Among Hunt's contributors was an 
essayist, William Hazlitt, of whom something will Jbe 
said later. Hazlitt, of Irish blood but of English birth, 
had been taken in his childhood by his parents to the 
United States. Long residence in or near New York 
had to some extent Americanised Cobbett as well as, 
was said by the Yankees whom he at times detested so 
cordially, taught him the art of newspaper writing. Both 
Leigh Hunt's parents were of transatlantic stock if^ in 
their beginnings, of British origin. Hence the American 
claim, made by some among Hunt's keenest critics in the 
New World presently to be glanced at, that the Stars and 
Stripes had done much towards presenting the Old 
Country, with its greatest newspaper men. Leigh Hunt's 
aim in the Examiner was to give his readers popular 
teaching not only in Radical principles but in the art of 
expression and intellectual culture. His own literary per- 
ceptions were always keen, if sometimes, in details, in- 
accurate. Here is an instance. The idea and, in the 
earlier parts, the execution of the Lady Elizabeth 
Hastings sketch in the Toiler wiere Congreve's. Reading 
this piece of pen-and-ink portraiture, Leigh Hunt was 
particiularly interested (and charmed by the words '' to 



THE HUNTS, PERRY, AND STUART 145 

love her is a liberal edticaticwi." Never doubting the 
author of the phrase to have been Congreve, " it might," 
he exclaimed, -' have come from Steele." And here 
Hunt showed at once the readiness of his critical insight 
and the pardonable limitations of his literary scholar- 
ship. The truth is that both Congreve and Steele had 
a share in the picture of this female paragon ; it was 
the portion from Steele's, not Congreve's, pen that 
contained the gem of expression which, if it dazzled 
Hunt, did so without blinding his judgment. The 
political articles always furnished a strong attraction 
by the prospect of State prosecution which they opened 
up. Apart from these, the paper's two most paying 
novelties, each from Leigh Hunt's pen, were the para- 
graphs summarising the week's news on the first page 
and the theatrical criticisms. These were as iconoclastic 
as they were breezy and fresh. John Kemble was told 
in effect he could not properly pronoimce liis mother 
tongue, and generally stood iti the way of other actors 
and actresses who could do better than himself. The 
political paragraphs created as well as gratified a news- 
paper taste lasting to, and never more marked than at, the 
present day, when the column and a half -' leader " seems 
sometimes elbowed out by the pithy occasional note, by 
the character sketch, or by the signed communication 
from an expert on a question of the day. Some of 
these features had been introduced by Cobbett in the 
Register. In the Examiner the first attempt at their 
combination was systematically made. Isaac Hunt's 
sympathetic and animating instruction on prose rhythm 
and the means of producing the most telling effects 
language could convey, followed by the intellectual 
intercourse both with boys and masters wTiich Christ's 
Hospital sometimes allowed, enriched for all time the 
periodical press with a model at once stimulating and 
instructive in the man who suffered fine and imprisonment 
for disrespectful remarks about George IV. in 1812. 

Before, however, that offence, the Examiner had come 
into legal collision with the Government upon three 
different occasions. Of these the first was an exposure 
of military mismanagement under the Duke of York 
(1808). The next year appeared some highly exas- 
perating reconjraendations to the Spencer Perceval 



146 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Cabine? bf certain reforrrfs, EnglisK iaHd IrisH, which 
they, might undertake. Such good things, however, as 
the Examiner hoped for seemed more likely to come 
in another reign than that in which Perceval was Prime 
Minister. What an opportunity for the third George"'s 
successor to make himself the most popular monarch 
who had ever swayed the sceptre of Great Britain and 
Ireland. Where, gasped out Southey for the Govern- 
ment, would this Hunt's criminal audacity stop? To 
hint at the possibility of a better monarch than the 
sovereign actually, regnant was declared by the Attorney- 
General to be a seditious libel. The Morning Chronicle, 
then under Perry, of whom more presently, had approv- 
ingly quoted the Examiner's words. That daily news- 
paper, therefore, was associated with the weekly Examiner 
in the proceedings before Lord EUenborough in the 
February of 1810. " Not guilty " was the verdict which 
at once set all the defendants scot free. Some months 
later in the same year, the Hunts followed Cobbett's 
example in their denunciation of flogging in the army, 
though not under the special circumstances which had 
excited Cobbett's wrath. The usual State prosecution 
followed. Henry Brougham in his defence won fresh 
laurels for himself and his clients by, the contrast he 
had no difficulty in drawing betweeri the Examiner, 
written and edited by able, cultivated men, on many, 
subjects the teachers of their generation, and the coarse, 
ill-informed " rags " never seen by respectable readers. 
John and Leigh Hunt were acquitted amid the cheers 
of the expectant multitude outside. The Examiner's 
fourth encounter with the law officers of the Crown, less 
fortuniate in its issue than those already mtentioned, is too 
universally familiar for more than passing notice here. 
In the February of 181 1 the future George IV. became 
Prince Regent. Many disagreeable things were said. 
The Morning Post, horrified with the liberties taken 
with august nata'es, ventured to assure His Royal Highness 
of respectful, profound sympathy, and implored him to 
treat with merited contempt the rude and unkind words 
of other journals. " The Maecenas of the age, delightful, 
blissful, wise, honourable, immortal, and true,^' were the 
phrases which, applied to himself, the Post assured the 
deputy -sovereign did him only justice. Here was a text 



THE HUNTS, PERRY, AND STUART 147 

im{K)ssibIe for the man! of the Examiner to resist. " A 
corpulent man of fifty, the subject of millions of shrugs 
and reproaches, a libertine over head and ears in disgrace, 
a despiser of domestic ties, a companion of gamblers 
and demireps, without one single claim on the gratitude 
of his country, or the respect of posterity, ; such," wrote 
Leigh Hunt, -' is the Prince Regent of reality, as con- 
trasted with the Prince Regent of fiction." 

The man with a grievance sometimes disturbs the 
public peace as a means of securing attention to his 
real or imaginary, wrong. Hunt's transatlantic ancestors 
had risked all for the English connection:, and had lost 
it. His Jniother, whom he loved, though of American 
birth, was of Irish family ; in the poverty or extinction 
of her relatives Hunt saw the Irish victims of English 
misrule. By way of avenging himself for the ruin by 
which those jof his name had paid for their fidelity, to 
the British Government, and denouncing a dynasty even 
though he could not come by his rights. Hunt created 
a fresh sensation with this tirade against a Sardanapalus, 
who he hoped might be taught to shake, in the very 
drunkenness of his heart and in the midst of his minions, 
at the voice of honesty. The public was amused, but 
the Hunts were laid by the heels. On this occasion 
Brougham's defence did not carry the court with it. 
The trial had begun! in December, 1812. During the 
February of the next year, EUentJorough sentenced the two 
brothers to fines whose gross amoimt was not less than 
£2,000. iWith the fines went a two years' deprivation 
of liberty. John: and Leigh Hunt's bestowal in different 
prisons did not prevent their securing the Examiner's 
appearance regsularly throughout their captivity. Its 
force, variety, and freshness had indeed never been 
more marked than when the addresses of its proprietors 
were respectively Cold Bath Fields and Horsemonger 
Lane. Than such residences as these the paper could 
have had no more paying advertisement. The entire 
public was with the incarcerated journalists, the amount 
of the mulcts was subscribed almost without effort, the 
jail authorities, great and small, treated the two men, not 
as convicts undergoing a sentence, but as distinguished 
inmates who by a regrettable incident were separated 
for a while from' the outside world, but whose seclusion 



148 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

did not disentitle them: to all personal respect arid assist- 
ance in the daily services to the public of their pens. 
Even Leigh Hunt's domestic life went on after a fashion 
throughout his loss of freedom. Once for a short time 
the mother [of his children took them to the seaside, 
but for the rest his wife, with their boys and girls;, 
remained peacefully and happily by the father's and 
the husband's side. As for agreea"ble or distinguished 
visitors, Leigh Hunt saw more of these in prison than 
he would probably have done in the sanie time beneath 
his own suburban roof. Charles and Mary Lamb, with 
Barnes of the Times, Horace and James Smith of "the 
Rejected Addresses, Haydon and Wilkie the artists, Lord 
Brougham, Sir John Swinburne^ Hazlitt, Shelley, arid 
Jeremy, Ben|:ham, who came especially to play battledore 
and shuttlecock with this versatile and irrepressible news- 
paper martyr. Oi all the visits, however, received by 
Hunt in prison, the most interesting and important in 
their consequences to the prisoner's future life, as well, 
in some sense, to his character, were those of Lord Byron . 
The acquaintance thus begun was cemented by the dedi- 
cation to Byron of the longest poem writteri by Hunt 
during his captivity, the Story of Rimini, -' a real good 
and very original poem, sure to \)Q a great hit. But for 
the dedication to myself," said Byron, -' I would have 
got Tom Moore to review it in the Edinburgh." iWihat 
ever in that case the Whig periodical might have said, 
the Quarterly in its actual notice of the poem was 
sufficiently outspoken. " Note," it exclaimed, " the 
vulgar impatience of a low man, labouring with coarse 
flippancy to scramble over the bounds of birth, education, 
and fidget himself into familiarity with a lord." The 
Tory, Blackwood two years later followed suit with " No 
modest woman ever read it without the flushings of 
shame and self-reproach." Meanwhile the healthy air 
and repose of Hampstead were re-establishing Hamt's 
health, which had been much shaken by confinement, 
anxiety, and vexations. Once more he was actively at 
work with the Examiner, writing, perhaps, less himself, 
but indefatigable and inspiring in his suggestions tq 
his contributors. The record or the spectacle of Leigh 
Hunt's natural resiliency amid the continual difficulties 
and dangers of his vocation piay well have suggested 



THE HUNTS, PERRY, AND STUART 149 

to Dickens the buoyancy, of temperament which he cari- 
catured into egotism and improvidence in Harold 
Skimpole. Among Leigh Hunt's personal associates 
Dickens may have found the original of another Bleak 
House character. John Jarndyce in the novel presents 
a contrast to Skimpole not less complete than may be 
seen in Leigh Hunt's eldest brother arid journalistic 
partner, John Hunt, to Leigh Hxmt himself. John Hunt's 
business qualities, sOimd and sober common sense might 
have qualified him to jgive his kinsman counsel which 
would have kept him out of many, troubles, and were 
not less essential than literary genius to securing !the 
Examiner that position in periodical letters which made 
it not only the forerunner but the pattern of high -class 
weekly papers like the existing Spectator, and SattWday 
Review of lour own day. 

Leigh Hunt's political articles Were always sniart and 
sometimes strong. His special newspaper mission was 
to adapt to nineteenth -century journalisni, as social 
" leader " or " middle," the essay which Addison and 
Steele had introduced. Here his easy colloquial diction, 
his iwide, ready, sympathies, his keen and picturesque 
observation, won him' a teal success and a lasting literary 
influence in the Indicator, which, beginning Septenaber, 
1 8 19, showed him for two years at his best as an 
essayist, without indeed Hazlitt's pungent, piercing criti- 
cism, intellectual strength, or Elia's weird humour. But 
his pure English and soiond sense were not debased by 
so much alloy of sentimentalism' as to prevent them from 
being safe models for some, though not all, writers, as 
well as uniformly pleasant and at times impressive and in- 
structive reading. However homely or simple the therae, 
the treatment is kept some degrees above the level of 
baldness or bathos ; while here and there the incidental 
comments are as incisive and fresh as they are true. 
As if by anticip3.tion to answer Bulwer-Lytton and others, 
-' The Cockney school of poetry," he exclaims, " is the 
most illustrious in England. How could it help being so, 
since Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Pope, Gray, were all of 
London birth, and Shakespeare alone am,ong our immortal 
bards came into the world outsidei the sound of Bow 
Bells?" After Cobbett, Leigh Hunt was the one writer 
of his time simultaneously, and to an almost .eqnaJl 



150 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

extent, in demand on both! sides of the Atlantic. 
His lighter discourses, in particular his literary 
causeries, found at least as many readers in America 
as in his native land. The critics of New York and 
Boston considered him at his best in his Feast of the 
Poets ; while the first authority of the time in American 
letters, J. R. Lowell, extolled Hunt's command over 
the " delicacies and luxuries of language," and com- 
pared the " rounded grace of his thoughts to the shifting 
lustre of a dove's neck." At the same time even Russell 
and others complained of his poverty in what they called 
the raw material, denying him the possession of solid 
judgment in literary matters, and calling him as a critic 
-' merely saucy, lackadaisical, falsely enthusiastic, or 
pointedly conceite;d " ; his eulogies on Coleridge the 
Yankee Aristarchi stigmatised as absurd. It was his 
metier, so ran the general verdict, neither to apply a 
literary stimulant nor to refresh the jaded mind with 
the repose found in Addison's Spectator, whose style 
was pronounced the very antipodes of Hunt's.' Among 
the personal impressions of his various visits to England 
recorded by the American N. P. Willis were accoimts 
of conversations with Leigh Hunt which greatly dis- 
pleased his admirers in the New World. This will 
account not only for the disparaging comments that 
tempered the praise of the Boston press, but for a 
tendency, originating on the other side of the Atlantic, 
to question the quality of Leigh Himt's intellect, ito 
affect doubt whether he really deserved all the attention 
he had received, to hint that he had made his bricksi 
out of other men's clayfields, and to allow credit for 
little more than adroitness and perseverance to the most 
thoroughly and variously trained newspaper man of his 
time, who had begun as " theatrical critic and censor 
general" of the Traveller, before, in 1805, filling the 
same position, as already mentioned, on his brother's 
News. In 1852 American criticism of Leigh Hunt's 
poetry, prose, and personal character was indebted for a 
revival to the already mentioned N. P. Willis, For this 
writer, to the armoyance equally of Leigh Hunt and Charles 
Dickens, started a discussion about the exact relations 

' Edgar Allan Poe, Margitialia, vol. ii. p. 474. Black's edition. 



THE HUNTS, PERRY, AND STUART 151 

in which the Skimpole of Bleak House stood to the 
editor of the Examiner. It is sometimes forgotten that 
Skimpole had a good and serious side to his character ; 
he deteriorated, not at once, but by degrees into thrift- 
lessness . In his better days,' his unselfish attributes might 
fairly be said to have reflected characteristics of Hunt. 
But for Bleak House (the contrast wanted to Jamdyce 
was some one who could amuse. The Skimpole of the 
novel is, therefore, necessarily a. caricature ; Dickens 
point-blank denied having borrowed any disagreeable 
traits ifronl the reputed original. He said, however, 
nothing to contradict the idea of Leigh Hunt having 
suggested the sunny superiority to reverses of fortune 
that gives a charm to Skimpole and that was to be 
found in Leigh Hunt. Again Skimpole {Bleak House, 
chapter Ixi.) wrote his autobiography ; so did Leigh Hunt. 
But the Skimpole memoirs represented their author as 
victimised by a combination on the part of mankind 
against an amiable child. Hunt's narrative throws a new 
light of real historical value on the political, the literary, 
the parliamentary life of his time, is generous towards 
a benefactor like Shelley, states. Indeed, his own case 
in opposition to Byron's, yet without showing himself 
in the martyr's pose. Skimpole is to some extent a 
second edition of Micawber in a new setting, with perhaps 
not more about him of Leigh Hunt himself than of his 
father, the eloquent elocutionist who fascinated dukes 
and ladies of high degree from the pulpit or reading- 
desk, and who, in his son's description, when confined 
within the Rules of the King's Bench, contrived to enjoy, 
the elegancies, physical and intellectual, of polite life, 
recited the most striking passages from favourite authors 
to his wife and children, and could awaken curious 
sensations in his son by the grace and vigour which he 
displayed in the racquet court. The truth is that 
Micawber and Skimpole both represent, not individuals 
or characters, scarcely eveii types, so much as elements 
in human nature. Micawber ism and Skimpolism indicate 
a temperament which may not be without its usefulness, 
if properly checked, amid the difficulties and discourage - 
jnents of daily life. Hunt may have carried his 
Skimpolism too far. iWlithout It he would have gone 
under more than once at an early, point of hia course. 



152 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

But for the besetting teadiness with which he idealised 
jtnere acquaintances as well as tried friends, he would 
have avoided serious misfortune. 

Df the two most controversial passages in Leigh Hunt's 
literary relationships, enough has already been said about 
the Skimpole -Dickens episode. Of the other, the Byron- 
Hunt co-operation, the chief points can be given in 
a few words. Thomas Moore's compliments on the Story 
of Rimini did not prevent his warning Byron not to have 
any connection with such a company as ^unt, Shelley 
and Co. But without, perhaps, intending finally to 
commit himself, Byron, in or about 1820, found he could 
not honourably withdraw from' the project of a quarterly 
periodical in the democratic interest. That was actually 
started in 1822, and lasted a year. It gave Byron 
the opportunity of publishing his Vision of Judgment; 
this, reprinted in the Examiner, subjected John Hunt 
to a fine. Shelley, for whose sake Byron had gone 
into the matter, contributed some good verses and Hazlitt 
a bitter denunciation of Imonarchy. Hazlitt, indeed, tiever 
wrote more effectively than he continued to do in all 
his pieces for the Liberal, especially one on Pulpit 
Oratory, Chalmers and Irving. Without Byron's funds, 
the paper could not have come into existence, still less 
have lived through four numbers. Soon after the first 
appeared, if not indeed earlier^ Byron and Hunt 
experienced a gradual but complete disillusionment in 
their opinions about and feelings towards each other. 
Shelley's jgood offices had brought Hunt to Italy jn 
1822, and with his wife and seven children, had quar- 
tered him on Byron for his host. Hunt's impecuniosity 
increased. His drafts on Byron grew heavier. The 
reciprocal enthusiasm which first united the two men 
was gradually replaced by. mutual weariness and dis- 
gust. Byron now discovered that Hunt was no gentleman. 
Hunt found out that, as he many years afterwards told 
Lord Houghton, the poet -peer combined the conversation 
of a pugilist with the heart of a. pawnbroker, and that 
mat even at his best was he ever or could he ever have 
been more than a poseur. 

Leigh Hunt's later periodical ventures, the Week's 
Chat, the Toiler, and the London Journal, presaged the 
seven-days prints whose p/aragraphs and short essays 



THE HUNTS, PERRY, AND STUART 163 

make them the most flourishing of twentieth -century 
journalistic growths. Meanwhile his Tory assailants 
had expressed regret for the intemperance of their 
earlier abuse. Wilson asked him to write for Black- 
wodd. The Quarterly, indeed, made no such overtures^ 
but Hunt actually became an Edinburgh reviewer, not- 
withstanding the misgivings of the Edinburgh editor, 
Macvey Napier, as to his new contributor's ability to 
give his articles the requisite gentlemanlike tone. When 
Southey's health began to fail, the future Lord Macaulay 
used his best efforts for securing Hunt's succession in 
the office of Poet Laureate. Thus the most varied and 
vigorous performer in the department of belles lettres, 
as his hair whitened and his strength failed, received 
all the attention and homage due to one regarded by. 
friends and foes as the ,^rand old man in the journalism 
of his day. 

At different points of his life's warfare, Leigh Hunt 
was brought into relations with the men who were head 
and shoulders above their contemporaries in the personal 
achievements which made the daily press a national 
mstitution. The first of these to be considered now! 
was James Perry, of the Morning Chronicle. The diffi- 
culties encountered by him in building up this enterprise 
were complicated and formidable enough to have crushed 
a man (whose strong, keen intellect, resourcefulness and 
business tact were not equalled by strength of will, in- 
vincible coura:ge, rare knowledge of character, and extra- 
ordinary insight into the public temper and taste. The 
journal calling forth the triumphant display of these 
qualities, the Morning Chronicle, had been started in 1769 
by William Woodfall, brother of the Sampson Woodfall 
who brought out Francis as Junius. Perry himself 
had first been heard of in connection with the Gazetteer, 
the daily sheet that Sir Robert Walpole owned or inspired, 
and that conveyed his instructions to the countless news- 
papers in his pay. The Gazetteer, however, which in 
1783 Perry was engaged to edit, had long outgrown 
the functions that. Walpole paid it to perform. It 
had, in fact, become to the bookselling trade what the 
Morning Advertiser afterwards was to the licensed 
victuallers. Perry at once perceived that if it were to 
pay its way it jQtist at once be changed from a tra.de 



154 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

organ to a thoroughly popular sheet of comment and 
news. In its new form it could not but come into rivalry 
with iWoodfall's Chronicle. That paper had already 
begun to suffer in reputation arid revenue from not keep- 
ing pace with the spirit or supplying the wants of the 
time. Perry's rehabilitation of the Gazetteer deprived 
it, in its existing shape, of any future. In 1789, there- 
fore, the Chronicle was for sale. It was bought by, 
James Perry partly with his own money, entirely with 
the sums raised by his personal efforts from private 
friends. The Whigs, indeed, cherish a tradition repre- 
sentirig* the Liberal press as, at all stages of its history, 
a special creation of their own. But for a desire to 
secure an organ of Whig sweetness arid light, the Morning 
Chronicle would never have made for itself the illustrious 
record which, opening under George III., lasted into the 
second half of the Victorian Age. As a fact, the aris- 
tocratic Whigs gave newspaper men and their work less 
encouragemtent than was received from democratic Tories 
or from Radicals. The Whig leader, Charles Fox, cared 
little, did less for the press, and boasted "that wjhen 
abroad on a holiday he only opened a daily journal 
to see the racecourse odds. The sole person in authority 
on the buff and yellow side from whom Perry received 
the slightest help or encouragement wp,s the Duke of 
Norfolk. He gave the Morning Chronicle an office in 
one of the unlet houses on his Strand property. Of the 
purchase money a substantial sum had been advanced 
by Ransome and Bouverie^ the bankers . Other capitalists, 
great or small, who had lent a hand, were Bellamy, a 
Chandos Street wine -merchant, door-keeper and caterer 
to the House of Commons, for one of whose pork pies 
Pitt is said to have asked on his death-bed, and Gray, an 
assistant master at Charterhouse School, who had just 
come into a legacy. The money which he was thus able 
to find not only secured Perry the editorship of the 
Morning Chronicle, but gave him, as a principal pro- 
prietor, a decisive voice in its business management. 
Perry, the life, soul, engineer and director of the whole 
imdertaking, found a fresh ,stini,ulus to hiq exertions in 
political antagonism to the Times and the -' whole 
Erionstrous monopoly, of the overwieening tyrant of Print - 
irig House Square." As an editor he had but one fault— 



THE HUNTS, PERRY, AND STUART 155 

Ke wrote too much himself ; for a literary teatn is handled 
with the best results when the holder of the reins leaves 
the actual work to be done by those whoiri he directs. 
The chief attraction of Perry's writing was not so much 
strength as brightness of thought and felicity of touch. 
In graver matters the master mind belonged to Gray, 
a man of first-rate intellectual power who, had his life 
been spared longer, would have taken higher and better 
known rank among the personal forces that created and 
controlled the English newspaper of the eighteenth and 
nineteenth centuries. As it was, in return for his invest- 
ment of £500 he became assistant editor and, in the 
Morning Chronicle's more serious work at all critical 
times, he it was who pulled the labouring oar. As 
for Perry, the great qualities which had raised him 
to a position more commanding, perhaps, than had been 
won by any of his predecessors or contemporaries, went 
together with an inordinate fondness which he never 
quite outgrew for seeing himself in print, and a personal 
vanity never more gratified than when the public persisted 
in attributing to his inspiration, if not handiwork, all 
that was freshest, brightest, or best in any particularly, 
striking issue. Perhaps the very brilliance and strength 
of his contributors increased a jealous anxiety to keep 
himself weU in the foregroimd. His staff included R. B. 
Sheridan and Sir James Mackintosh. Mackintosh iwas 
more at home in the ampler space of pamphlet dis- 
sertation or Edinburgh Review article, but generally con- 
trived to pack weighty matter pregnant with wisdom 
into the three or four paragraphs which he was allowed 
by Perry ; Sheridan, on the other hand, might always 
be trusted liot to exceed a column of pointed and epi- 
grammatic observations on the leading incidents and 
individuals of the hour. Of all Sheridan's Chronicle 
articles there was scarcely one in which the author of 
the School for Scandal did not stand revealed. Perry's 
theatrical critic was a future Lord Chancellor, John Cam^p- 
bell, who, however, when writing for the Chronicle, had 
liot yet been called to the bar. This is a name which, 
it may be mentioned in passing, suggests a notable 
instance of journalistic heredity ; for Lord Chancellor 
Campbell's son, the Lord Stratheden and Campbell, who 
died in 1893, began to copy out, as well as study. Blue 



166 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

books while an Eton boy, and in later years to the close 
of his life was an inexhaustible letter-writer on the 
Eastern Question to every London paper. Another pi 
Perry's leading article manufacturers bearing the Camp- 
bell name was Thomas Campbell, the poet, whose private 
letters about his work show that in 1793 the regulation 
payment for a leading article had become the two guineas 
which for many years afterwards it was to remain. The 
ofifices of the Morning Chronicle and Perry's fine and 
hospitable house in Tavistock Square were pervaded by 
a tiny little gentleman whose puffed, frilled shirt-front 
suggested the breast of a pouter pigeon, and whose 
dress, in the extreme of fashion, exactly reproduced that 
of the Prince Regent. There seemed something drolly 
consequential in the air of this duodecimo dandy as he 
strutted hurriedly from one room to another or walked up 
to Perry, whose shoulder he barely reached, that he might 
impart something to his private ear. This was the 
member of the Morning Chronicle staff specially charged 
with the fashionable part of 'the paper, Thomas Moore, 
Byron's friend and biographer, the tame cat of Holland 
House, of Bowood, and of half-a-dozen other great 
mansions, who, when not picking up odds and ends 
of society talk, wrote the Chronicle's poetry and sonie- 
times, as on the Regent's restrictions, some uncommonly 
clever fepigrams. His biographical notices were quite 
the best in the w"hole London press. Perry's dinner 
parties at the already mentioned Bloomsbury residence, as 
regards the quality, both of the guests and the fare, were 
famous. Erskine Romilly, and Miss Mitford, among 
the earliest of lady journalists, were habitually at the 
table, while Luttrell and Tierney, the two wittiest masters 
of conversational satire, shone there more brightly than 
at Holland House. The talk, however, of the host himself 
was unsurpassed for brightness and variety. Perry was 
also a kindly -hearted man, ever ready to do a good 
turn, to opponents as well as friends. The late Mrs. 
Procter, who lived till 1888, often dwelt on the high- 
minded and open-handed services rendered to her 
husband by this newspaper potentate. 

Parliamentary reports had found their way into print 
long before Perry's time. The reporters, however, had 
to crowd into the Gallery with other strangers, and might 



THE HUNTS, PERRY, AND STUART 167 

be told at any time that note -taking was contrary to tKe 
orders of the House.' The newspaper accounts of 
debates could riot, therefore, but be very imperfect ; 
though in 1775 there had been such improvements in 
reporting as to make Horace Walpole call the newspapers 
" now tolerable journals of the Commons." At the same 
time, while unrecognised by any formal order, reporters 
were allowed by the Speaker and the Sergeant -at -AHn's 
to use the back bench of the Strangers' Gallery. In 1 803 
the recognition of reporters was completed by that 
position being, at the Speaker's order, reserved for their 
exclusive use. Another improvement in the reporting 
system' was due entirely to Perry's personal initiative. 
Hitherto time had not allowed the publication of the 
debates in the morning papers. Perry stationed hi$ 
stenographers in the Gallery by relays. Thus a fresh 
man took his turn every twenty minutes, after the fashion 
still in force. In this way, by the time the latest 
reporter's last slips had been written out for the printer, 
the earlier parts of the debate were actually in type. 
Perry, would not have been a true representative of his 
newspaper epoch if he had been without experience of 
State prosecutions. One of these, though the last in 
order of time, was his inclusion in the proceedings in 
1 8 10 against the Hunts already described, when, like 
them, he was acquitted. The first proceedings instituted 
against him were for seditious libel in 1793. Then, too, 
the verdict was not guilty. Five years later he charged 
the House of Lords with refuting the charge of absolute 
idleness by a session for the special purpose of regu- 
lating opera dancers' dresses. This piece of sarcasm' 
produced a call to the bar of the Peers' Chamber, the 
infliction of a £50 fine, and three mbnths' imprison- 
ment. The services rendered to his craft by this great 
editor and business man will be the better estimated 
if one contrasts the honour and authority secured by Perry 
for his vocation with the discredit and contempt in which 
he had first found it . Throughout the eighteenth century, 
and indeed during part of the nineteenth, what Johnson 
had said in the bitterness of his soul about thei 
newspaper -writer's lot was literally true. " Away with 

' May, ii. 50. 



158 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

these blackguard newspaper scribblers from the parlia- 
imentary, precincts," had been the pleasant cry throughout 
the lobbies in 1798. No gentleman, it was said^ could 
stoop to the foul indignity of prostituting his peri to 
payment at so much per column. The Benchers of 
Lincoln's Inn excluded all who at any time had written 
in the daily journals from being called to the bar. Robert 
Southey, who had himself plied for journalistic hire under 
Stuart of the Post, told Lord Liverpool that newspaper 
men were pestilent nuisances who would destroy, the 
Constitution if they were not first extermiriated them- 
selves. In or about the year 1830, the Lord Chancellor 
of the day got into trouble with his Cabinet colleagues 
for asking the editor of the Times to dinner. 

Perry's services to the newspaper profession generally, 
as well as to his own journal in particular, were con- 
tinued so far as circumstances allowed by the man who 
followed him at the Morning Chronicle, John Black. 
Had he succeeded to Perry's exceptional advantages. 
Black did riot want the qualities which might have enabled 
him to rival Perry's reputation. Like Stuart of the 
Morning Post, as well as like Perry himself. Black takes 
his place among the Scotch foimders of the Londori 
newspaper. His wild oats had been sown during his 
earliest youth while living from' hand to mouth in Edin- 
burgh. In 1 8 10 he found his way to Londori, and 
settled down to serious work on the Morning Chronicle's 
reporting staff. His course might have been one of 
unbroken jprosperity as well as credit had he not beeri 
trapped by a friend into marrying his cast-off mistress. 
After that, brie misfortune followed quickly upon another. 
In a short time the lady's disappearance to some extent 
unmade the ill-starred marriage. She still, however, 
remained a source of misery and expense. Harassed at 
home, Black was hampered and hindered in the conduct of 
his paper by the proprietors. Iri business management as 
well as in editorship. Perry was from the first his own 
master. On his death in 1821 the paper had been 
sold . Black found himself a paid servant, without voice in 
its management, without share in its profits. Unrelieved 
by the rest and solace of home life. Black found his edi- 
torial cares and difficulties aggravated by lack of public 
spirit and intellectual interest on the part of those to 



THE HUNTS, PERRY, AND STUART 159 

whom the paper belonged. Even though thus heavily 
handicapped, he showed himself a bom editor and leader 
of men. iWithout Perry's gifts of style, humour^ 
sympathy, he proved at least Perry's equal in gathering 
round him the first writers and thinkers of the day. 
Coleridge, Lamb, Mackintosh, and others whom Stuart 
had recruited for the Post, placed their pens at the 
disposal also of Black. Members of Black's team were 
united in admiration of the skill with which he handled 
both them and their articles. Jeremy Bentham, who was 
not prodigal of praise, called him the greatest pkiblicist 
yet produced in Great Britain. Bentham's most illustrious 
disciple, James Mill, and his son, John Stuart, welcomed 
the platform given them by Black's columns for deliver- 
ing their message to the world. The first newspaper 
critic of English institutions in detail was their description 
of their editor. Black's touch, however, literary or 
editorial, never acquired the lightness which had been 
the charm of Perry, and on which, in their weekly talks 
with their editor, both the Mills insisted as; a conde- 
scension necessary to the temper of the time. Nor was 
it only that Black and his contributors were habitually 
writing above the heads of the public. In a progressive 
and enlightened sheet like the Chronicle, his iWhig 
readers resented civilities to their Tory enemies, as well 
as certain inconsistencies in their editor's views. iWhy, 
for instance, these critics wanted to know, should Black 
lash himself into such a fury, about the Peterloo massacre, 
and yet fail to see in Queen Caroline the injured wife 
whtose only fault was the innocence which alone had 
made her the victim of a cruel conspiracy? What, too, 
could be more obstinately wrong-headed than Black's 
declaration that a Tory might have brains and even' 
genius? Byron had exclaimed of Pitt's most brilliant 
disciple and successor in the Tory, leadership! : 

"E'en I can piaise thee — Tories do no more," 

and elsewhere : — 

"While Canning's colleagues hate him for his wit, 
And old Dame Portland " fills the place of Pitt." 



' A propos ai the Duke of Portland's premiership following, after Pitt's death, 
the " Talents " Administration. 



160 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Such" a licence rilight be permitted to poets, but did 
Mr. Editor Black think the iWhigs befriended him and 
his paper to hear eloquence allowed to an adventurer 
like Canning and the Duke of WicUington called any- 
thing else than a bungler or a bigot? And then, 
exclaimed the Radicals, the insolence of Black's discovery 
that Cobbett wrote and talked a great deal of nonsense 
in his timeil -' The players and I are happily no friends." 
So Pope had boasted of himself. But the Morning 
Chronicle's sometime owner was iWioodfall, who gave 
to the drama a prominence greatly, increasing its circu- 
lation ; while Perry found his theatrical critic in William 
Hazlitt. Any indifference of Black to theatrical matters 
was, he might have said, more than compensated in his 
paper by such features as Brougham's slashing leaders 
and Tom Moore's happiest epigrams, one specimen of 
which is not too well known to be giveri here, the subject 
being the Regency Bills, 1788-1811. 

"A strait waistcoat on him and restrictions on me, 
A more limited monarchy sure could not be." 

The Walter dynasty will receive due consideration 
on a later page. Some time, however, before the date 
now reached, the members of this remarkable family 
were making the Times the first paper not only in Eng- 
land but in Europe. Black's encounters with that great 
journal under various editors form too important an 
episode in his course to be ignored now. The abuse 
interchanged between Black and the gentlemen of 
Printing House Square is no more than echoed in the 
reciprocal fury with which the two Eatanswill editors 
in Pickwick fell upon each other. As a fact, the entire 
Pott and Slurk episode may well have been intended 
for a description of the thunders, to use his own word 
rolled forth by Edward Sterling from Printing House 
Square, and the answering bolts that Black discharged 
from the Strand.' This, too, is quite in accordance with 

' At 332, Strand were the Morning Chronicle offices ; beneath the same roof, 
on the floor above these, was John Black's private residence. In the same way, 
some of the Walter family or their representatives lived on the Times premises in 
Blackfriars ; while, throughout all his editorship, J. T. Delane had his own 
dwelling-house quite near, i6, Serjeant's Inn, Fleet Street. 



THE HUNTS, PERRY, AND STUART 161 

Dickens's method. In the opening chapter of Pickwick 
he had described a quarrel between the founder of the 
Pickwick Club and a member called Blotton. This inci- 
dent was undoubtedly suggested by a House of Conmions 
scene in which Brougham and Canning were the chief 
figures (April 17, 1823). Brougham had described 
Canning's accession to a divided Cabinet as an incredible 
specimen of monstrous truckling for the purpose of 
obtaining office. Canning at once interrupted with the 
wot-ds " That is false." The two political rivals would 
have been committed to the Serjeant-at-Arms. Sir 
Robert Wilson, however, sugigested the explanation that 
Brougham's offensive words were applied to Canning 
not in his personal but official character. Thirteen years 
afterwards, when Pickwick was at the zenith of its fame, 
Fonblanque, referring to the adroitness with which the 
disturbance had been quelled, commented : "In fact. 
Brougham and Canning only called each other liars in 
the Pickwickian sense, just as in the story Blotton says 
he had merely considered Mr. Pickwick a humbug in the 
Pickwickian sense." 

Neither " Michael Ang;elo Titmarsh " nor " Boz " 
would have desired a place among the makers of the 
English newspaper. Both, however, were brought out 
in the Morning Chronicle, Thackeray as art critic, Dickens 
as parliamentary reporter. The author of David Copper- 
jield was complimented by Black on being the best sten- 
ographer who had ever -' taken his turn " for the Chronicle. 
By way of getting more regular newspaper work, 
Thackeray applied for the editorship of an evening edition 
which the Chronicle proprietors were bringing out. 
Thackeray's practical knowledge of newspaper work was 
at this time too slight to make it surprising that the 
preference should have been given to another candidate, 
Charles Mackay, the song-writer. Miss Marie Corelli's 
stepfather, who, if almost as inexperienced as Thackeray 
himself, had, so far as his age allowed, had some appren- 
ticeship to the technical work of journalism. The disap- 
pointment irritated the novelist, and may explain the 
occasional bitterness of his remarks on newspaper writers 
and owners. Mackay was one of the few newspaper 
managers who ever helped a royal duke to write a leading 
article. His Grace of Sussex had long been a good 

11 



162 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

platform speaker, able to deal with literary or social 
matters sufficiently well to pass muster. He had never 
tried his halid at a leader, but was ambitious to 
do so ; he found the work less easy than he had 
expected. Mackay was called in to correct the proof ; 
the affair passed off to Black's as well as to the Duke's 
entire satisfaction. 

The first of the Morning, Chronicle's great editors 
catne from a Scotch province exceptionally rich, as will 
be seen' at several subsequent places, in the journalistic 
ability, of its natives, Aberdeen. Black, though a Scotch - 
Jiian too, was a Lowlander. The next notable journa- 
list who pushed his way from beyond the Tweed to 
the Thames was Daniel Stuart, proud of his clan, the 
Perthshire Stuarts of Loch Rannoch, and prouder still 
of a connection, historical or legendary, with the Royal 
House of his own name. The grandfather had been 
out in" the 171 5, his father in the 1745. Accepting the 
Hanoverian succession, he had now become George III.'s 
most loyal subject. The Jacobite exodus to the South 
had been going on for some time. Daniel Stuart's 
brothers were already well started in a London printing 
business ; in 1778 Daniel joined them^ and the family 
lived over their business premises in Catherine Street 
with their shrewd, kindly sister Catharine for housekeeper. 
That domestic arrangement was to have the effect of 
enlarging the journalistic activities of one who, if after- 
wards neither with the pen nor in Parliament he quite 
fulfilled his earliest promise, by his intellectual elevation, 
his learning, by the stateliness of his language, and his 
lifelong responsibility to conviction and conscience alone, 
reflected fresh honour and dignity on the English news- 
paper and on the work of writing for it. This was the 
illustrious man who, in 1804, became Sir James Mackin- 
tosh, and whose course, both before and after his 
Iniarriage to Catharine Stuart, might be described as 
Odyssean in its varieties and vicissitudes. With a 
tnedical deg'ree from Edinburgh he had come up to 
London in 1788 to practise as a doctor. He failed 
to do this as signally as another great newspaper man, 
Tobias Smollett, had failed in a like attemipt at Bath. 
Towards the close of the eighteenth century took place the 
marriage with Catharine Stuart, followed by a wedding 



THE HUNTS, PERRY, AND STUART 163 

tour in the Low Countries, with Brussels as his head- 
quarters. He had, however, other objects for his journey 
than enjoyment. His health needed repair ; he wished 
to study foreign politics amid the actual scenes of the 
disturbance still in progress. As an eye-witness he 
watched the growth and progress of the quarrel between 
the Emperor Joseph and his people ; while in France 
the revolutionary movements were comingt to a head. 
Knowledge is power ; with Mackintosh it was to be 
money also. The experiences now gathered formed the 
capital on which, quickly returning to London, he could 
set up as a newspaper -writer. In rivalry to the Times, 
the Oracle had been started recently by John Bell. 
Mackintosh soon became one of its regular staff. The 
information brought back by him from the Continent 
and the close connection he was able to maintain with 
well-placed friends abroad qualified him for superintend- 
ing and writing up all the Oracle's foreign news. 
Meanwhile his brothers-in-law, Peter and Daniel Stuart, 
had acquired the Morning. Post. The Stuarts found this 
paper moderately Whig. They proceeded to give it a 
temperate Tory bias in dealing with social and political 
affairs. How well Daniel Stuart at least, the chief 
manager of the paper, knew his business may be inferred 
from the fact that he bought the paper for £600, that 
eight years after he sold it for £25,000, and that during 
his proprietorship he worked up the circulation from 
three hxmdred and fifty to four thousand five hundred. 
Such a sale exceeded that possessed by any other paper 
of this date. By the time of his becoming established 
on the Morning Post Mackintosh had achieved fame 
through taeasuring himself against Burke. His Vindicice 
GalliccB had been the first in a series of replies to Burke's 
Reflections, which afterwards included compositions by 
the third Earl Stanhope, Tom Paine, and last of all 
Arthur Young. The Vindicice were enough to make Mac- 
kintosh rank as one of the Morning Post's most valuable 
pens. Other writers were the "Lake Poets," including 
Coleridge and Southey, then politically in a transition 
stage, having broken with his revolutionary colleagues, 
but not yet made much progress in the training which was 
to leave him the reactionary Tory of the Quarterly Review. 
In the Morning Post, however, literary criticism rather 



164 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

than' disquisition on State aflfairs formed Southey's de- 
partment. Charles Lamb, another occasional contributor 
to the Post, praises Daniel Stuart as the finest tempered 
of editors, frank, plain, English all over, and so some- 
what of a contrast to Perry of the Morning Chronicle, 
for whom, Elia reminds us, he had worked as well as for 
Stuart. Between 1795 and 1803 Southey made some 
absences on the Continent, leaving temporarily his work 
to Wordsworth, then only beginning to be known. 
Southey's already -mentioned outburst to Lord Liverpool 
against newspapers and those who wrote them belonged 
to the year 18 17. By that time, as the names already 
mentioned here show, journalism had become not the 
least distinguished department of letters. From Defoe, 
Swift, Addison, and Steele, to Johnson, to Junius, ^.nd 
so onward to the Hunts, the makers of the English news- 
paper were also the makers and the masters of English 
prose. No more, as will duly be seen, in the nineteenth 
and twentieth centuries than at any preceding period, 
as regards either the method or the merit of the work 
done, has there been or does there exist the much- 
talked of antagonism between journalism and literature. 
As ambitious of public influence as he was able, Daniel 
Stuart followed up his purchase of the Post fourteen years 
earlier by buying in 1799 the Courier. This was an 
evening paper founded and owned by John Parry, now, 
as he had already done for the Post, transformed by 
Stuart from a strong Liberal into a moderate Tory 
organ. In more respects than one Stuart proved himself 
to possess the instincts, gifts, and methods as much 
associated at the present day as in his own time with 
newspaper success. He had a knack of discovering 
literary talent, of engaging it on the most advantageous 
terms. He also presaged the most characteristic tactics 
of the nineteenth and twentieth century evening press in 
arranging an indefinite sequence of editions following 
each other with a rapidity undreamt-of before. With his 
new journal Stuart repeated the success of his earlier 
venture. The Morning fos^, indeed, remains to the 
present day the 'monument of his sagacity and shrewdness 
in everything to do with paper and printer's ink ; probably 
he never showed greater wisdom than in selling the 
Courier after the peace of 1815, when newspapers began 



THE HUNTS, PERRY, AND STUART' 165 

for a time to be at a discount. The distingtiished pens 
already at work for his Morning Posi supplied Stuart 
with the literary labour he needed for the Courier. 
Charles Lamb is only one among several who has testified 
to Stuart's uniformly considerate or at least satisfactory 
dealing with his contributors. In so acting he certainly 
never inflicted injustice upon himself. This is a combina- 
tion of qualities entitling him to be called a really great 
as well as successful taaif. 



CHAPTER VII 

THE WALTERS: THEIR WORK, WRITERS, AND EDITORS 

The journalist's training ground — S. T. Coleridge as journalist— A cool oflFer— The 
dawn of the Walter dynasty— The Times under the first Walter— Skirmishes 
in Whitehall— Foreign news organisation under Walter the second — Famous 
members of his staff- John Stoddart— Some slaps at " Slop "—Thomas 
Barnes— His career before and during the Times editorship— Notable occa- 
sional contributors— Captain Edward Sterling, the " Thunderer "—The 
triumvirate of Printing House Square— William Combe—" Roving Rabbis " 
on the Times— V^tst Fraser— Walter meets the Delanes— J. T. Delane in 
the chair of Barnes— Delane's staff— Remarkable events during his editorship 
— Mistakes of policy and fact — Thomas Chenery, Delane's successor — Lord 
Blachford's contributions. 

Of two great London public schools, Christ's Hospital 
associates itself with great newspaper men in the first 
quarter of the nineteenth century not less prominently, 
than Westminster is connected with the foremost figures 
in the nation's life, work, and thought at other epochs. 
Leigh Hunt, S. T. Coleridge and Charles Lamb were the 
most notable among the old -' Blues " in the journalistic 
system of their period. Scarcely less conspicuous in his 
day was Thomks Barnes. He had been Leigh Hunt's 
schoolfellow ; he became his comrade in the fight for 
a free press, sharing his reverses as well as triumphs. 
Barnes contributed regularly to Hunt's Examiner. Most 
of Coleridge's newspaper work, however, was done for 
some of Stuart's papers already, mentioned, both of them, 
like the Morning Chronicle also, memorable links between 
the better sort of journalism and the best kind of 
literature. Here he ^ave proof of intellectual aptitudes 
which, if not counterbalanced by moral and physical 
eccentricities or infirmities, would have fitted him to deal 
with political subjects. As things were, he was no more 
fitted to be a journalist than a dragoon — ^the career which, 

166 



THE WALTERS 167 

under the name of Comberback, he hiad, when homeless 
in London, for a short time essayed. When he wrote 
under pressure his faculties were subject to a species of 
moral paralysis. These sudden fits made it impossible 
for any editor to count on Coleridge's work in the make- 
up of his paper. When forthcoming, Coleridge's news- 
paper writing, like his conversation, was remarkable for 
the (Way in which he brought to a focus an infinite 
variety of subjects and information mutually, as it seemed, 
the most disconnected in themselves, and the most impos- 
sible, as it might be thought, for one mind and tongue 
intelligently to manage. In an essayist this would have 
been interesting and even agreeable. As a leader-writer, 
however, it made Coleridge rather impracticable. His 
articles disdained the points, some of which ought to 
be made in every paragraph. A newspaper article, to be 
effective, must not only carry the reader from beginning 
to end along with it, but must from point to point 
enlighten and instruct on the collateral issues which the 
central topic raises, and avoid all references which cannot 
easily be understood. To such considerations as these, 
Coleridge was, of course, far above paying any heed. 
His peculiarities, personal and literary, were patiently 
borne in the Courier and the Post by Stuart, who had 
discovered and admired his genius. In other quarters, 
appreciation of Coleridge was an acquired taste. Take 
the result of his overtures to the Times. Nine years 
before its owner's energies, the abilities of its editors^ 
its writers, and the steam press raised that paper to 
greatness, in 1805, the second of the Walter dynasty 
received from the poet of the Ancient Mariner a proposal 
for service in Printing House Square. The terms were 
at least specific ; if accepted, they would have made 
the poet not only the paper's chief writer^, but an active 
controller of its policy. Coleridge offered to a'ttend 
daily at the ofi&ce for at least six hours, and to write as 
many articles a week as might be required. This was 
to be on condition that the paper showed itself inde- 
pendent of the Administration, that it advocated the due 
proportion of political power to property, but that it used 
its influence to promote the free transfer of property,^ 
as well as discourage its accumulation in large and grow- 
ing classes by any single order of the commimity. As 



168 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

might have been expected, Coleridge's newspaper record 
at that date was such as to deter the sane proprietors 
of the Times or of any other newspaper from engaging 
ori his own conditions even such a genius as himself. 
His slight military experiences as a cavalry private were 
enough to make him as bitter against the army authorities 
as had been Cobbett himself. Recently he had given 
vent to these feelings in an article denouncing the Duke 
of York when Commander-in-Chief. This article was 
written for but never published in the Courier. The 
Treasury, indeed, in some unexplained wajr, got wind of 
the poet's screed, not only after it was in type, but 
after two thousand copies of the issue for which it was 
intended had been struck off. Rather than face a Govern- 
ment prosecution, Stuart stopped the press. Coleridge 
therefore escaped public identification with this assault on 
the Governtnent. The whole story, however, had been 
gossiped about by Fleet Street, from Temple Bar to Black- 
friars. Better a writer who is dull than one who is 
dangerous formed the wise motto of the Times managers . 
Nor is this the only, case in which an illustrious child of 
the muses has set a price upon' his services which the 
unsympathetic compilers of the world's contemporary 
history from day to day have refused to entertain. 

No details can be given concerning the men who 
have co-operated with its owners to make the Times 
the first newspaper in Europe, before some mention of 
the family to which the journal belonged from the first, 
and the part taken by different members of that family, 
in developing their literary property. Early in the 
eighteenth century's sejcond half, Robert Dodsley, who 
had printed and published for Pope, Johnson, Goldsmith 
and Chesterfield, received an apprentice destined to 
become the founder of a jgreat dynasty. This was the 
John Walter who, bom in 1739, learned his trade in 
;Dodsley's Charing Cross shop to such good result as, 
some years later, first to become his old master's rival 
in the bookselling business, secondly to start on an 
entirely, new industry, for himself in Printing House 
Square. The secret of the new business, known as logo- 
graphic printing, was to set up type in whole words 
as iwell as in single letters. In .17^85 iWalter turned this 
innovation to practical account lay employing it on a 



THE WALTERS 169 

broadsheet which he then called the Daily Universal 
Register, but which three years later he changed to 
the Times. There soon became traditional in the Walter 
line certain experiences which niay well have warned 
them on the occasion already mentioned against employ- 
ing so risky a writer as Coleridge. In 1789 the first 
John Walter's venture at paper and printing ink spoke 
its mind about the Duke of York. A State prosecution, 
of course, followed ; Walter was condemned to a fine 
of £50, to an hour m the pillory, to a year's imprison- 
ment, and to give security for good behaviour for seven 
years afterwards. The pillory part of the sentence was 
remitted. The confinement at Newgate did riot prevent 
Walter, any more than it had prevented Cobbett, or 
than a like incarceration had prevented Leigh Hunt, 
from managing his paper throughout his whole detention. 
Among Walter's staunchest friends and strongest backers 
was the Under-Secretary of State, Bland Burges, who 
first organised the Foreign Office in its modern sha]pe 
and who found the means of ensuring that the founder 
of the Times should lose nothing by his Newgate sojourn. 
And this though, while he was serving his sentence, there 
were made against Walter fresh charges, involving 
additions to the original penalty. Eventually, however, 
after sixteen months of his cell, Walter was held to 
have expiated his libels upon the royal dukes, and re- 
turned to the newspaper office that was also his family, 
residence. Invigorated by seclusion aaid partial repose, he 
at once used his regained liberty to improve the business 
arrangements of his paper. Perry's energy with the 
Chronicle stimulated him to fresh efforts . These included 
a small and rapid sailing ship ever in readiness to bring 
messages from his French correspondents as well as 
copies of any French newspapers, some of whose Contents 
might be worth transferring to his own columns. That 
particular item in his arrangements had the effect of 
bringing Printing House Square once more into hostilities 
with Whitehall. Ever since the Duke of York imbroglio, 
the relations between the Government and the newspaper 
had been strained. At last, in 1804, iriatters came to a 
head. The Times then, with more vehemence than it 
had lately employed, accused Lord Melville (Henry, 
Dundas), Pitt's particular friend, Treasurer of the Navy, 



170 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

of Ealgraiii incapacity in adhiinistering his department. 
This naturally lost the Walters their business as printers 
to the Customs. The policy of their journal soon received 
complete justification from facts. The shock of his one 
confidant's impeachment may have hastened William 
Pitt's death. The proceedings sanctioned by Speaker 
Abbot's casting vote confirmed the charges of mis- 
management and corruption levelled by the Times, not 
only to the risk of its proprietors but to their actual 
loss, at the Admiralty. That, of course, only embittered 
official resentment against a newspaper which thus 
asserted its authority over a department of State. White- 
hall's ill-will survived the man who had excited it. 

The founder of the Times had (1803) transferred 
the paper to his son when the reigning, otherwise the 
second, John Walter discovered that all packages for 
Printing House Square were stopped at Gravesend. 
Walter's complaint to the authorities brought him the 
reply that as a favour he might receive his continental 
despatches if he would promise a corresponding favour 
to the Government in the tone and spirit of his publi- 
cations. This condition was refused. Put upon his 
mettle, the second Walter strained his resources to secure 
early tidings from beyond the sea with such entire success 
that, in the ensuing rivalry, the newspaper again and 
again beat the Government hollow. Thus, during the 
Walcheren Expedition, the sole success, the English 
capture of Flushing, was known at Printing House Square 
four -and -twenty hours earlier than at the Foreign Office. 
Meanwhile the newspaper had marked an era in newspaper 
narrative by engaging the earliest of nineteenth-century 
special correspondents . This was Henry Crabb Robinson, 
the diarist, whom two years earlier, in 1807, the second 
Walter had sent out to Altona, not so much, however, 
to put on paper his impressions of European wartime as 
to pack an allotted space with the news and opinions of 
journals published in the actual scene of campaign. 
Robinson's travel sketches from the Elbe, Stockholm, 
and Gothenburg answered their purpose. His arrange- 
ments for a comprehensive foreign news service soon 
enabled the Times to distance its rivals in the race for 
early and accurate tidings from abroad. Robinson's 
work for the paper continued after the close of his 



THE WALTERS 171 

travels as its representative. On returning' to England, 
he began in 1 808 in the capacity of foreign editor ; 
he was to attend at the Times office from five o'clock 
in the afternoon till as late an hour as his services might 
be required. He was thus a humble instrument in estab- 
lishing the newspaper's credit for the European omni- 
science which formed one of the secrets of its power. 
Crabb Robinson, too, proved himself a useful servant 
not only by the work he did but by the stimulaltin'gl 
example which he left. Nearly a generation after its 
alacrity in announcinjg the already mentioned fall of 
Flushing, the great journal, still during the second John 
Walter's reign, anticipated all its contemporaries in 
obtaining probably direct from the Czar's Government 
at St. Petersburg the Russian protocol recently ac- 
cepted by the Duke of Wellington in the Russo -Turkish 
negotiations, then engaging our Foreign Office, about 
Greece. 

No newspaper man ever stamped, in characters more 
distinct and durable, his personality upon his journal 
than! was done by the second John Walter upon the! 
Times. This remarkable man resembled his father in 
being not only the business manager but the actual 
editor of his great and growing broadsheet. That 
authority, however, he found it convenient titularly to 
share with some of those composing his literary staff. 
This staif contained several notable names, especially. 
Peter Eraser, William Combe, and Edward Sterling, of 
whom more will be said later. The first chosen foir 
this honour was, in 18 10, John Stoddart. Educated at 
Salisbury Grammar School and at Christ Church, Oxford, 
he began his connection with the paper as a parlia- 
mentary reporter. On terms of personal intimacy with 
Coleridge, Southey, and others of the French Revolu- 
tionary or, as Byron called it, the pantisocratic school, 
he had been converted to Burke's loathing for French 
Jacobinism, had emphasised and amplified the recanta- 
tion of his early heresies in the leading columns of the 
newspaper. Walter, however, wanted for his second in 
editorial command not so much a man who could write 
well himself as one who would be the cause of good 
writing in others ; he must also, in the great paper's 
interest, have a quick eye for rising journalistic talent 



172 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

iri any quarter. Stoddart, though a good worker, hated 
taking trouble of any kind. The really irksome but, from 
his employer's point of view, the most essential part 
of his duties was systematically neglected. The inevit- 
able dispute followed ; in 1 8 1 7 Stoddart left Walter's 
employment and started an opposition sheet of his 
owri. The paper to which he transferred his services, 
the Day, bore a title revived some half a century later 
for a daily print of Tory principles not exactly those 
of Stoddart, whose political creed became Napoleon on 
the brain, and who saw in the " Corsican fiend " the 
incarnation of evil. In 18 18 Stoddart's Day rechristened 
itself the New Times. Here he failed equally as editor 
and writer. His pompous panegyrics on our great and 
glorious constitution won him the sobriquet of " Dr. 
Slop," as well as, in 1820, mkde him the subject of a 
pamphlet entitled A Slap at Slop. The journalist who 
provokes a quarrel with his employer commits suicide. 
Fortunately Stoddart had in his earlier days gone through 
some legal studies. These now qualified him for the 
justiceship of the Vice -Admiralty Court in Malta. 

Stoddart's successor on the Times has already been 
mentioned among those forming the Christ's Hospital 
group of newspaper men so active and distinguished 
during the first quarter of the nineteenth century. Thomas 
Barnes went directly from school to journalism. At 
twenty -one he was writing occasional articles for the 
Times, as well as for his friend Leigh Hunt's Examiner. 
The productions, however, that first brought him into 
notice appeared in the Champion, edited by Cyrus 
Redding. These papers, signed Strada, formed a lively 
and brilliant series of criticisms on ^English poets from 
Shakespeare and Milton to Campbell and Rogers, ^s 
well as of a few novelists, chiefly those belonging to the 
early nineteenth century, and in particular Mrs. Opie 
and Miss Edgeworth. In fiction, however, Barnes's 
favourite authors were Fielding and Smollett. Here are 
names recalling Leigh Hunt's discriminating remark ; 
when speaking of his old school -fellow . he said : 
" Barnes might have made himself a name "in wit and 
literature had he cared much for anything beyond his 
glass of wine and his Fielding." Indeed, their author 's 
habits made his articles somewhat difficult for editors to 



THE WALTERS 173 

get. Writing materials and reference books were near 
his bedside. He had the gift of waking at daybreak with 
a clear head, and of getting through his work while 
the printers who were to set it up still slept. For 
Leigh Hunt's Examiner Barnes furnished pieces of a 
very different kind. His early experiences in the Gallery 
had acquainted him with the manner and appearance of 
the men most famous in both Houses. His parliamentary, 
character sketches in the Examiner formed the earliest 
specimens extant of the pen and ink photographs which, 
beginning with Barnes, have since, froiri hands not 
inferior to his, admitted whole generations to the iimer 
life of both Chambers. 

As editor of the Times, Barnes from the first avoided 
his predecessor's faults. Stoddart, it has been seen, 
showed himself jealous of literary, ability in any of his 
staff, regarded his own writings with a complacency, 
surprising in a really clever man, and practically refused 
to help Walter in securing! fresh contributors. Barnes 
took infinite pains to enlist the ablest writers under him 
— whether they happened to live by their pen or not. 
Personally he had no liking for Brougham. He even 
occasionally crossed swords with him in matters affecting 
the conduct of the paper. In 1830, Brougham, as Lord 
Chancellor, had gone into the Upper House ; he took 
offence at the remarks made by the Times on the Duchess 
of Kent's absence from William IV.'s Coronation. One 
of the Chancellor's representatives called on the editor 
to inquire about the source of the knowledge shown in 
the article. Barnes was not to be pumped ; from that 
moment beg'an the feud between Printing House Square 
and the Keeper of the Royal Conscience. As a fact, and 
as Brougham suspected, the editor's informant in this 
matter had been the Chancellor's particular aversion, 
Lord de Ros. This was not the only personal collision 
between the two men. Brougham, indeed, took the lead 
among the Whigs in resenting the newspaper's attacks 
on the Grey Reform Bill, and especially on Lord Grey 
himself. From whose pen had these onslaughts 
come ? Some said " The young Benjamin Disraeli "1,; 
others "Lord Durham."- In' 1834 the newspaper once 
more found itself at loggerheads with the Ministry 
over the new Poor Law Bill, The coming resignation 



174 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

of the entire Whig Cabinet did not prevent another 
assertion of his inquisitorial authority by Brougham, with 
no imore result than the former, except a widening of 
the breach between Downing Street and Blackf riars . The 
personal forces that had established this early antagonism 
between the Times and the Whigs made themselves felt 
some way into the Victorian Age. Barnes, a retiring 
man, who went as little into society as he could, rather 
than live with the Whigs, toade no secret of his wish to 
live against them. 

There is a general idea that the Times has, like the 
bishops, for the most part independently supported the 
Government of the day. As a fact, the personal forces 
which, already mentioned, made the Times, were by choice 
always strong for the Tories, only giving the Whigs or 
Liberals a good word when they were carrying out a Tory 
policy or kept in office by Tory votes . The paper may thus 
be said always impartially to have represented the innate 
Conservatism of the country ; it began to do so by being 
consistently Ministerial under Liverpool, Canning, and 
Wellington, as well as uniformly Oppositionist under Grey 
and Melbourne. The great national reforms, however, 
prepared for under George IV., actually carried forward 
in the next reign, were accomplished not only without 
the newspaper's help, but in the teeth of its strong 
resistance. This was the policy of Barnes, and, as will 
presently be seen, he did his utmost to secure its continu- 
ance by his successor Delane. Yet before his frequent 
quarrels with Barnes, Brougham had been among the 
newspaper's most regular and highly-paid writers, fur- 
nishing a daily " leader " during the years in which 
much occasional verse appeared in the same columns 
from Thomas Moore and T. B. Macaulay ; but Macaulay, 
though his literary influences were afterwards seen plainly 
enough in Printing House Square, does not seem to have 
written articles or prose of any kind. 

Among the makers of the most representative news- 
paper ever produced in' England or in any other country, 
a place must be given to a man inferior neither as 
writer nor thinker to any of those already mentioned. 
When, in 1 8 1 7, Thomas Barnes entered upon the control 
of the Times, he found that the second John Walter's 
discriminating energy had already secured for the paper 



THE WALTERS 176 

a man one of whose phrases supplied the Times with 
an alias formerly as familiar as it is now forgotten. 
-' vWe thundered out the other day an article on social 
and political reform," had been the words with which 
Edward Sterling opened one of his attacks upon the 
Whig Government. Hence the " Thunderer," subse- 
quently to be supplemented as a nickname by the 
" Organ of the City." Some of Leigh Hunt's charac- 
teristics as a newspaper -writer have been traced 
back in these pages to his ancestral vicissitudes and 
idiosyncrasies. In like manner Edward Sterling's slash- 
ing pen reproduced qualities of his swashbuckling fore- 
father. That " Scottish Gustavus-Adolphus soldier," to 
quote Carlyle's description, who sprang! from the same 
stock as the Scotch Stirling's of Keir, displayed personal 
sympathies with the Duke of Ormond faction, which 
separated him from his friends of the Parliament. This 
Colonel Robert, after 1649 Sir Robert Sterling, person- 
ally recommended himself to Charles II. At the Restora- 
tion he became an Irish landlord of wide estate and 
great consideration in Munster. His descendant, Edward 
Sterling's father, was Clerk of the Irish House of Com'- 
mons at the time of the Union ; then, to compensate 
him for the loss of his position, he received a pension 
of two himdred a year. Edward Sterling) himself, born 
in 1773, went throug'h Trinity College, Dublin, was called 
to the Irish Bar. In 1798 he joined a corps of loyal 
volunteers raised by the Irish barristers for putting down 
the rebellion. These experiences left him with a dislike 
for law that caused him to quit the bar and with a 
turn for soldiering' gratified by a captaincy in the Lanca- 
shire Militia. In 1804 he married Miss Hester Coning- 
ham. This lady not only made him a capable and 
devoted wife, but transmitted many of her higher quali- 
ties, spiritual and intellectual, to the son of this marriage, 
the Broad Church clergyman John Sterling, who had 
Carlyle for his friend and Archdeacon Hare for his 
biographer. The family settled near Cowbridge in 
Glamorganshire. Here began the connection between 
sword and pen which was to prove the starting-point 
for the memorable connection with the Times. Captain 
Edward Sterling' had been appointed adjutant of the 
Glamorg'anshire Militia in 181 1 ; he at once wrote a 



176 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

pamphlet on military reform, dedicated to the Duke of 
Kent. A chance communication on a local subject with 
Printing House Square introduced him to John Walter. 
In 1 812 beg'an, under the signature of " Vetus," the 
trenchant and emphatic letters on Napoleon, Catholic 
Emancipation, national defence, the mutual and neces- 
sary hostility of Erigland and France. " Bravo 1 '" 
greeted these compositions on every side. " Here is 
some one not afraid to write like a man," approvingly, 
gtowled the '• Iron Duke," then making arrangements 
to smash Napoleon at Waterloo. His brother, the 
classically -minded Wellesley, chuckled with delight. 
" This," exclaimed Lord Lyndhurst, " is the sort of 
writing which makes the editor of the Times the first 
man in the country." 

In 181 5 the Sterling household had settled itself on 
the Thames, close to the spot on which Blackfriars Station 
now stands, and in a house near that afterwards to be 
J. T. Delane's in the long since vanished Chatham Place. 
Except for an autumnal holiday. Sterling remained in or 
near London till his death in 1847. His Times salary 
did not fall much short of an ambassador's or a Cabinet 
Minister's wage, as that wage in Sterling's day was. 
It sufficed not only for all his wants but, had he wished it, 
for something of the state befitting the Olympian employ- 
ment of which he was proud. His articles derived their 
great effect from other qualities than the strength and 
sting of their invective. They interpreted with great 
felicity and skill the popular sentiment of the hour. 
Reading them to-day, one is chiefly struck by the absence 
from them of the heat and abuse that then weakened 
much really good newspaper work. Some credit for 
these virtues must be given to the moderating temper 
of the second John Walter, who discussed the subject 
of the day with Sterling before he wrote, and exercised 
an: editorial prerogative with the proof. Whether^ after 
1 8 1 7, Barnes took a part in the preliminary consultations 
is a secret of the prison-house. Sterling therefore might 
well, as it was remarked he did, emphasise the editorial 
'' we," seeing that the policy of the paper, expressed 
in his smart and vigorous sentences, was the product 
of several different intellects co-operating with each other. 
The first person plural is applied with no more aflfecta- 



THE WALTERS 177 

tioii and at least as niucK accura;cyi by the leader -writei" 
as by the leader of the House when announcing the deci- 
sions of his Cabinet. While thus stating his own 
opinions, the Times under the second John Walter be- 
came the interpreter, which it long! remained, of the con- 
victions or prejudices, the partialities and the antipathies, 
entertained by the upper section of the ten-pound house- 
holders in whose hands political power was lodged by, 
the Reform Bill of 1832. From Sterlingi's day onward, 
in fact, the average Englishman of the better sort not 
only read and pondered Sterling's and his successors' 
leaders, but talked them too. 

Meanwhile other pens than the original " Thun- 
derer's " were contributing to establish its best and most 
enduring traditions for the paper. The Captain Shandon 
of Pendennis wrote his prospectus for the Pall Mall 
Gazette in the Fleet Prison, and there the printer's boy 
used afterwards regularly to repair for the incarcerated 
captain's copy. Between the Sterling of real life and the 
Shandon of fiction, there was not, as will be more parti- 
cularly shown hereafter, the slightest connection. The 
Times, however, of Sterling's day occasionally printed 
a column or less of lighter matter furnished by a "re- 
markably fine old gentleman with a stately figure and 
a handsome face," who wrote under Shandon's conditions. 
This was William Combe, of Dr. Syntax notoriety ; his 
usual address was the King's Bench Prison, but he 
sometimes contrived on an exeat to visit Printing House 
Square. Combe was a strange, shrewd man, keenly 
observant, and of an experience extraordinarily varied 
and wide. His writing may not have been particularly 
valuable to the paper, but there is no doubt that its 
proprietor consulted him more intimately and frequently 
than Barnes altogether liked. Walter was prepared to 
do more for Combe than Bungay had ever undertaken 
for Shandon. He would, that is, had Combe allowed 
him, have settled all the money claims and restored hini' 
to freedom. 

Men long whispered Sterling's name as the supreme 
forger of the literary bolts from Blackfriars. He was, 
however, only one among several writers who, in a diegree 
scarcely less important than the editors who directed 
their pens, were instrumental in giving to the Times its 

12 



178 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

distinctive character. Printing House Square in its 
earlier days had much attraction for young clergymen 
unattached, often known on the premises as " roving 
rabbis." One of these, by name Peter Fraser, the senior 
by some years even' of Barnes in his Times connection, 
obtained his first employment on the paper less as a 
writer than an out-of-doors " snapper -up of uncon- 
sidered trifles." The business of this newspaper 
Autolycus was to collect less facts than opinions. 
Wherever representative Englishmen were in the habit 
of congregating, at places of business or amusement, 
of profit or pleasure, in the public locomotive, at refresh- 
ment bar, in the eating-house, there it was the reverend' 
gentleman's business to be. There he stayed, alert in 
body, with vigilant eye, quickly receptive ear, electric- 
ally impriessionable memory, and hair-trigger wits, till 
the confused mass of what he saw and heard yielded him 
evidence of the feelings which, on matters of the moment, 
united the miscellaneous groups of human beings whose 
study he had reduced to a science. This discovery made, 
he was free to return with a report to his editor or to his 
own room, that he might write. As vehement and vivid, 
when occasion required, as Sterling himself, (Fraser's 
leaders were noticeable for the adroitness and accuracy 
with which they reflected opinion as well as guided 
and to some extent created it. Eraser knew the capital 
better than he did the provinces. London, east or west 
of Temple Bar, now saw in the Times a kind of Delphic 
oracle, to be consulted in perplexity through the strictly 
anonymous Eraser as its high priest. It was neither 
the enterprise of a Walter, the comprehensive master- 
fulness of Barnes, nor the cosmopolitan tact of Delane 
which won for the Times the reputation of London infalli- 
bility that made foreigliers call it the " organ of the 
City." The articles in which Eraser held up the mirror 
primarily to metropolitan but also to national life and 
thought were probably among the earliest and certainly 
the best known agencies that made the Times office 
one of the sights of London, and in foreign eyes gave 
its controllers the lion's share of an authority divided 
by them with the Lord Mayor. The generation following 
Fraser's also drew to Printing House Square its own 
clerical recruits, but under a new editor, who had chiefly 



THE WALTERS 179 

to carry on the processes set in motion by Walter arid 
Barnes. The House of Cotoriions is wiser than its wisest 
member, a great newspaper greater than its greatest 
editor or writer. In the story of every broadsheet there 
comes a time when it is the journal which makes the man, 
rather than the man who shapes or sways the journal. 
So was it with Printing House Square by the middle 
of the nineteenth century. 

The Delanes owed their connection with the Walters 
to the settlement in 1775 ^t ^^^ Windsor of Cavin 
Delane, whom the g'ood offices of the Villiers family, 
had helped to become Serjeant-at-Arms to George III. 
Cavin Delane 's son, a barrister, had a coxmtry home at 
Bracknell, four or five miles from Wokingham, near 
which, at Bearwood, John Walter the second, having 
consolidated his dynasty in Printing; House Square, had 
founded a Berkshire family. Duringi his parliamentary 
contests, which, in 1832 and 1835, brought him in for 
the county, he found supporters and active helpers in 
his Bracknell neig'hbour, W. F. Delane, and his second 
son (J. T.), then a student at King;'s College, London. 
Struck by the business aptitudes of this strenuously 
sympathetic neighbour, Walter made W. F. Delane his 
financial manager, destining also from the first to some 
position in his office the youth, J. T. Delane, whose 
zeal and industry had brought him many useful and 
uncertain votes. Before that opportunity came, Walter's 
■ editor -elect had finished his course at Magdalen Hall. 
He had entered on his twenty -foiurth year when Thomas 
Barnes died. " A man who used the utmost power of 
the press without arrogance and without bitterness to 
any one, whose sudden and premature death was lamented 
by all." Such were the words in which the yoimg Delane 
summed up the impression left on himself as well as on 
others by the editor whom he was to succeed, and of 
whose methods his early familiarity behind the scenes 
at Printing House Square had naturally shown him much. 
In addition to this, foreseeing his ultimate succession 
to himself, Barnes in some short mem,oranda impressed 
on Delane the expediency of supporting Lord Aberdeen, 
but of distrusting and opposing the party to which he 
belonged. Lord Melbourne, Lord John Russell, and the 
Whigs generally. That counsel, in all its broad features. 



180 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

was systematically carried out. Wheli, therefore, in the 
fifty-second year of its existence, Delane followed Barnes 
at the Times, he had simply to proceed on the lines laid 
down by the experience and wisdom of his predecessors. 
He established no new tradition and made no change in 
an old policy. The one novelty, in the journalistic record 
of the Delanian era was the increase of the material 
agencies at his command, and the periodical increase 
of mechanical improvements unknown and undreamt of 
before his day. The social position to which the new 
editor had been born helped him in turning to better 
account than may have been done by most before him 
his editorial opportunities. In doing this, he was, more- 
over, but gratifying the social instincts that were as 
marked in him as they had been entirely absent from 
Barnes. Between Delane and his immediate predecessor, 
there thus existed a personal contrast. That, of course, 
may have reacted on the work of the two men ; it did 
not affect their editorial methods, which were the same. 
His Oxford education and his family connections gave 
Delane from the first many well -placed friends. Troubled 
with none of the reserve that kept Barnes so much out 
of evidence, he soon became, at the beginning of his 
course, a welcome gtiest everywhere, culling his honey 
from every flower. Even Barnes, however, in his latter 
days, had expanded himself in club and drawing-room. 
This was inevitable from the connections created for him 
by his work. The same thing, of course, holds true of 
all gentlemen charged with editing the Times or any 
other even less considerable journal, and will for all time 
be the case. Edward Stanley, Bishop of Norwich, his 
more famous son, the future Dean of Westminster, then 
signing himself in the paper " Anglicanus," George 
Grote the historian, Jones Loyd, afterwards Lord Over- 
stone the banker, began under Barnes the contributions 
which some of them were to continue under his successor. 
The chief influence which drew Barnes out of his shell 
was that of Benjamin Disraeli ; his Runnymede Letters 
(1836) secured Barnes his gratitude, and brought that 
editor an invitation to join the Carlton Club in the 
year of his contributor's election to it. The offer was 
refused, but as Disraeli's guest Barnes soon became 
no stranger in the establishment. The record of the 



THE WALTERS 181 

two-score lyears all blit three (1840-77) of Delane's 
editorship is so much that of nineteenth -century England, 
and in various ways has been written so often as 
to make it a part of general rather than of 
journalistic history. About Delane's dealing with 
national or international questions, and about the quality 
of the knowledge he sometimes displayed, some details 
will presently be given. AH these points, however, were 
illustrated by the attitude of his paper, 1845-6. Chrono- 
logical order renders it proper now to say something as to 
those years. In' December, 1845, readers of the Times 
were told of a decision: taken by the Peel Cabinet to 
meet Parliament in the first week of the following 
January for the purpose of considering! the Corn Laws, 
with a view to their total repeal. So far from this being 
the case. Sir Robert and his coUeagties had made up their 
minds to resign. I They did so a little later, coming back 
soon afterwards because the jealousies between Grey and 
Palmerston made a Liberal Administration impossible. In 
reference to the whole Free Trade controversy, the Times 
began with sneering at Cobdenism as a kind of mid- 
summer madness, but was forced by the anti-Corn Law 
demonstrations at Manchester to recognise in the League 
a great fact. The largest European event during the 
first half of the Delanian era was the Crimean cam- 
paign. Had Delane been not only the strong, shrewd 
man he of course was, but cast in the absolutely heroic 
mould, as sometimes described, he might not have been 
able to arrest the process ; but he would probably at 
least have foimd an occasion for a weighty protest 
against the fatal policy of drifting, instead of, as he did, 
adopting that policy for his own. Palmerston had become 
the idol of the man in the street. More and more 
abandoning all show of criticism, Delane made his paper 
frankly Palmerstonian also. And yet he had become 
a jingo in spite of himself. He had been dragged into 
putting, as Lord Salisbury afterwards phrased it, his 
money on the wrong horse. Palmerston had always 
headed for war ; Aberdeen, with whom the editor was 
most closely associated, had from the first drifted. Delane 
did exactly the same, which is but another way of saying 

" Spencer Walpole's History of England, vol. v. p. 133, though at the time the 
mistake had been detected and exposed by A. W. Kinglake. 



182 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

that, whett the people's blood is up, great papers and 
great editors will follow arid not lead. During the 
progress of the struggle, by his penetrating and 
comprehensive vigilance, Delane became a model for 
all future editors. Once satisfied of a leader-writer's 
or correspondent's judgment, sense, and trustworthiness, 
Delane let him^ as much as mifght be, work out hi$ 
subject on his own lines, though he did not, because 
he believed in his writers, scrutinise their work the less 
severely. Seeing everything that went into the paper, 
he showed himself specially happy in the finishing 
touches he occasionally gave. Thus to " Nick Woods' " 
account of the Heenan and Sayers fight he added the 
words: "Restore the prize ring'? As well re-establish 
the Heptarchy ! " The judglnent with which he chose 
his writers at the seat of war was shown not only in 
the dispatch of Wi. H. Russell, but in the choice p| 
men less known at the time, though they proved them- 
selves Inot less effective, such as Thomas Chenery, as well 
as Lawrence Oliphant, correspondents with the Turks, 
and Stowe at Varna. To echo Kinglake's criticism that 
the accounts from headquarters commissioned by Delane 
kept the enemy acquainted with all that was going on, 
is merely to say that the satisfaction of the public demand 
for war news may have dang'ers as well as its refusal. 
Whether or not, as a rival peeress charged her with 
doing, the great Lady Jersey reported for the Times, 
Barnes had certainly received occasional contributions 
from drawing-rooms as well as from Whitehall offices 
or Pall Mall clubs. Delane not oinly continued but 
largely extended this precedent. A man of Society him- 
self, he used his paper in what he honestly believed to 
be Society's best interests. The social mixture which 
came in during the second half of his course was an 
innovation on the exclusive regime of early Victorian 
days frotti which he foreboded mischief, and on which 
he wrote largely with his own pen — so strongly did he 
feel on the subject — more than one warning article. 
Unlike sottie of his old friends whose exclusiveness 
proved less strong than the cosmopolitan associations 
of the turf for which they first lived, Delane never gave 
in to the earlier indications of the craze for democratic 
smartness ; such he shrewdly predicted as eventually 



THE WALTERS 183 

must base the polite system' liot on birth or breeding 
but on wealth. If the Times had been robbed by com- 
petition of the political supremacy it once claimed, the 
loss was more than compensated by the immense access 
of power in social matters accruing to it from the line 
taken by its editor. 

'^' He seems to me to be equal to anything " hadi 
been Delane's verdict on the doings of one of his men 
who had been told off for sonie particular duty. This 
gentleman, Thomas Chenery, more than any of his con- 
temporaries,, specially trained, moulded, trusted by 
Delane, deserved much of the credit, especially in regard 
to foreign affairs, generally given to Henry Reeve . When, 
after 1877, he iilled the editorship, he soon gave a 
place on the staff to his own successor, the accom- 
plished gentleman who now reigns in Printing House 
Square. Delane did not live to witness the proof 
of decline in the journalist's political power as 
forthcoming in the Unionist collapse of 1906, not- 
withstanding the united efforts for the contrary of, with 
a few exceptions, the metropolitan, and, to a great 
extent, though in a less degree, of the provincial 
press. Or if, indeed, he suspected the political 
leader of exercising less power than formerly, not only 
he, but those who filled his chair after him, had observed 
the journalist's increased authority in the purely social 
sphere. Mr. Chenery, therefore, began by giving fresh 
prominence to non-political topics, increasingly in signed 
articles from popular pens outside the regular staff. So 
far, this precedent has been faithfully followed, and does 
not seem likely to go out of date. The charge against 
a newspaper of a mistake in policy is a matter of opinion. 
A charge of inaccuracy in fact may be brought to a 
practical test. Delane, it has been seen, showed no 
strength or originality of statesmanship in his treatment 
of the Crimean episode. As regards the American Civil 
War of the sixties, he only shouted with the biggest mob 
when, like all the publicists and most of the statesmen 
of the day, he supported the South against the North. An 
error of statement, into which he was betrayed some years 
earlier characteristically recalls his periodical brushes 
with Cobden, and was on this wise. During the fifties, 
the Times annoxmced as a novelty. Prussia's consent to 



184 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

join the Getiiian ZoUverein, the fact, as Cobdetf was not 
slow to point out, being that this Customs league had 
been founded a generation: earlier by Prussia herself. 
As a set-off against this rare case of editorial neglect, 
take this instance of his extreme care in verifying any- 
thing like a sensational statement even from a trustworthy, 
quarter. Delane's Printing House Square period was 
coming to an end when, in 1875, his Paris correspondent, 
Blowitz, sent him news of the Prussian plan for reopening 
the war against France. Not till after a fortnight of the 
letter's arrival did its coritents see the light. In the 
interval Delane had personally, investigated thte whole 
matter, had sent Ch'enery on a secret itiquiry to Paris. 
The sensation knowW as the war scare of 1875 was thus 
only flashed upon the world when, the editor and his( 
aides -de -cattij) had sifted every statement in connection 
with it. A decade later, in 1886, under the then latest 
management, the paper was duped by the impostor 
Pigott into publishing the Parnell forgeries. Ten 
minutes' reflection, and the slightest practical use of table 
talk that would long since have reached Printing House 
Square, Would have prevented this imposition's success. 
C. S. Parnell never wrote a line except under compulsion. 
It was simply inconceivable that he should have troubled 
to disguise his caligraphy in the laborious production 
of folios representing the work of many days. 

iW-ith one of the significant editorial arraligements! 
concluded during Delane's editorship iri Printing House 
Square, Delane himself had nothing to do. Coleridge 
and Hazlitt's connection with it had not made journalism 
in the popular belief entirely respectable. In 1842 Lord 
Blachford, then Frederick Rogers, seeming to think he 
might, if he wished, be editor of the Times, consents 
to try, his hand as a Writer. Not, indeed, even this without 
sore compunction, and only when he has satisfied himself 
he can do just as much or little as he pleases, and 
that no one except his private friends will know. The 
duties, once undertaken, prove less voluntary than had 
been anticipated. The matter is only of importance so 
far as the air of condescension, that occasionally breathes 
out in Lord Blachford's reminiscence of the incident, 
shows journalistn' to have made no real advjgice in popular 
estimation between the thirties and the sixties. The 



THE WALTERS 185 

Times, of course, ajid one or two other papers wlere 
exceptions, Tjut during the third or fourth decades of 
the nineteenth century even newspaper writers who were 
winning fresh repute for their craft as well as them- 
selves were compelled to accept payment at the rate 
of tail shillings, for a yard-long colunm of matter. 



CHAPTER VIII 
THE MEN WHO MADE THE PENNY PRESS 

Peter Borthwick in Parliament — A terrible threat — He becomes editor oi the 
Morning Post — Succeeded by his son Algernon, who buys the sheet— Its 
policy and position in the public world — ^The Post at a popular price — Origin 
of the Morning Herald— A scurrilous print — The Baldwins — Rivalry with 
the Times — The Standard as an evening paper — The Baldwins' staff— 
Giffard — " Bright, broken Maginn " — Proprietorial changes — James John- 
stone's enterprise — ^The Standard as a morning print — Reductions in price 
— Captain Hamber — Fighting editors — Hamber's writers — His summary 
dismissal — The Mudford era — Some audacious coups — Occasional contri- 
butors — ^The Standard in later years — Its unsuccessful rivals — Quick work — 
The Lawsons and the Daily Telegraph — Foundation of the penny press — 
The Telegraph writers — Dickens and the Daily News — The novelist-editor's 
ill-success — The work of the Dilkes — Famous correspondents of the 
Daily News. 

Personal influences, however, between the later forties 
arid the sixties began to change the journalistic situation 
much for the better. Before dwelling upon these, some- 
thing will at this point appropriately be said concerning 
another newspaper family, not less well known than the 
Walters, and connected during two generations with the 
oldest of all London dailies. Neither the Morning Post's 
superior antiquity nor its fashionable prestige was allowed 
to prevent its reduction of price in 1882 from three- 
pence to the popular penny, with results that have fully 
justified the bold experiment. As member for Evesham 
(1835-47), Peter Borthwick made his mark pt iWest- 
minster and became a personage in society. He had 
entered St. Stephen's as a rising hope of Conservatism. 
His maiden speech was listened to with the closest atten- 
tion by the then Protectionist leader, Sir Robert Peel. 
His subsequent utterances were less successful, and were 
apt to provoke not so much cheers as yawns. That 

186 



MAKERS OF THE PENNY PRESS 187 

was a niode of reception which so tried him as to 
provoke a retort less felicitous than funny. -' If," he 
said, -' I am not allowed to conclude at my own time atid 
in my own way, I am determined not to conclude at 
all." The deviser of this verbal quaintness transmitted 
not only his first-rate brains but his good looks, his 
olive complexion, his profusion of black hair, and iri 
particular his roundness of head, to his son Algernon, the 
future Lord Glenesk. To him, rather than to his excellent 
biography by Mr. Lucas, the present writer is indebted 
for the personal details concerning Lord Glenesk's 
journalistic course to be given here. 

The pedigree of Algernon Borthwick's paper, the 
Morning Post, has been fully given on an earlier page. 
Not till some time after it had passed out of Stuart's 
hands did there appear in it the eulogy of the Regent 
which excited Leigh Hunt's wrath, and his answer to 
which eventually lodged him in prison. At that date 
its chief owner was Tattersall, and among those who 
shared with him some interest in it was the Prince 
of Wales himself. Though it had been brought into 
fashionable repute, it had not yet overcome its business 
troubles. The paper -maker, a Lancashire manufacturer 
named Crompton, held a mortgage on the paper which 
eventually placed him in the position of sole owner. 
In or about 1850 the already mentioned Member for 
Evesham had left Parliament, and unsuccessfully applied 
to the Foreign Office for employment abroad. He now 
entered the Morning Post office as, to use his son's exact 
word, gerant, or perhaps general, political not less than 
literary, manager. His son Algernon, before going to 
King's College School, London, had (1841-3) been 
educated in Paris and could speak French like a native, 
as well as write in it, not only all necessary prose but 
some very passable verses, if some way after those in 
the same language written by another Paris corre- 
spondent, Frank Mahony (Father Prout), the Globe's 
representative on the Seine during later years of the 
same period. In 1852 Peter Borthwick's death was 
followed by his son's recall from the French capital 
to make himself generally useful at the Morning Post's 
London office. In no vocation more surely than in 
journalism do brains and knowledge mean power. From 



188 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

his place in the manager's department, Algenion Borth- 
wick's universal aptitudes reached the editor's room. 
By, degrees the journal's supreme control and after- 
wards its proprietorship concentrated themselves in this 
comely, clever, pawky and pleasant -mannered Scot, who, 
in his own agreeable person, afforded, it was said, a 
fresh justification for the Caledonian boast that the 
London press was a Scotch creation, and that Flodden 
had avenged itself in Fleet Street. Chief among the 
moneyed backers who enabled Borthwick to buy up the 
Crompton interest in the paper was Andrew Montagu, 
the wealthy Yorkshire squire formerly known as a pro- 
tecting providence of the Conservative party in general 
and of the Carlton Club in particular. Mr. Montagu had 
been acquainted, not only with Mr. Peter Borthwick but 
with the family of the Yorkshire lady, whom that gentle- 
man married. The political flavour imparted to the 
Morning Past in the eighteenth century by Daniel Stuart 
was brought out more strongly a hundred years later by 
the Borthwicks. Of these the father, besides being a 
Tory stalwart in the Comtnons, had organised a specific 
Conservative interest constituting him the life and soul 
of the territorial resistance to the abolition of West 
Indian slavery. High Tory in Church and State, 
Algernon Borthwick was himself the Morning Post (to 
at least the same extent as J. T. Delane ever personified 
the Times. He became thus, diiring the Victorian age, 
the expositor as well as heir of those principles in states- 
manship at home and abroad first made by Stuart part 
and parcel of the paper. At the same time, he possessed 
the vitalising intellectual energy which enabled him to 
transmit these ideas of newspaper conduct to posterity, 
arid so to insure the Morning Post as 3. penny papelr 
against any solution of continuity in the social considera- 
tion and the political importance won by it in a more 
costly and exclusive state of existence. 

In its threepenny days Borthwick had mirrored in 
his paper the prejudices of the Conservative voters who 
kept a nominally Liberal premier, Palmerston, in office. 
Borthwick and his men it was who daily reminded the 
Minister that he received this support on the condition 
of discouraging parliamentary reform, as had been done 
by his master; Canning. As to foreign affairs, whether 



MAKERS OF THE PENNY PRESS 189 

with the Spaniard or with the Turk, h& was to employ men 
not less after Palmerston's own heart than Sir Henry 
Bulwer, and to show more decidedly than had been done 
by Canning that Britain's interest compelled her to have a 
voice in every continental settlement. The polite world 
looked at the Post, not for news but to see the whole mind 
of Palmerston, which often meant only the whole mind 
of Borthwick. But on one point the paper refused 
to go with the Minister. Palmerston's exercise of 
ecclesiastical promotion, dominated, as it seemed, by 
his relative Lord Shaftesbury, was consistently evangel- 
ical. That did not please the society in which Borthwick 
moved, and was therefore censured by the Borthwick 
paper. The Morning Post, in its criticisms of the 
Palmerston bishops, became the mouthpiece of Samuel 
Wilberforce or George Anthony Denison. Generally, 
however, Borthwick's personal preferences not only made 
the Post Palmerston's organ, but may be said to have 
given that statesmian a place among its writers ; for 
the briefs prepared by Palmerston to direct the manu- 
facture of " leaders " often proved full enough and 
finished enough for wholesale production in the " leader " 
columns. During that part of the fifties in which 
Walewski was French ambassador in London, the 
notorious intimacy of his relations with Algernon Borth- 
wick and his staif, if not, as was alleged by Lord 
Malmesbury, his own statement to that effect, spread 
a popular belief that the newspaper's Napoleonic sym- 
pathies had been secured by a regular subsidy.' Lord 
Malmesbury's words on this matter may have been 
influenced, perhaps unconsciously, by personal feeling ; 
for in 1859 he complained of the Morning Post's having 
received orders from the French Emperor to attack him 
on every possible occasion, adding : " The paper is also 
Palmerston's, so the connection between them is clear." 
In any case, such an accusation must be received with 
much reserve. Exactly the same thing was said about 
other English papers of the same period, especially the 
Standard. 

For only twelve years less than a century and a half, 
from, that is. Bate Dudley to Algernon Borthwick and 

' Memoirs of an ex-Minister, vol. i. p. 362 (1884 edition). 



190 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

his successors, the adroitest newspaper runners of their 
times have succeeded in making the Post now spoken 
of what it always was and what it now is. Whether a1 
the price of threepence or of the penny to which, as 
has been seen, it was reduced in 1882, five years after it 
became Lord Glenesk's sole property, the personal per- 
sistence and opportunities of its managers has brought 
the Morning Post so closely into relation with political 
parties and their controllers as to constitute the paper at 
once the answering echo and the inspiring oracle of the 
statesmen favoured by the " upper ten." In the columns 
once supposed to reflect Palmerston the first call is still 
given for choice to writers of parliamentary or official 
training. During the seventies and eighties the best 
foreign policy " leaders " in the Post were those of 
Mr. F. H. O'Donnell, once the Cavan M.P., written on 
occasions chosen by, Borthwick's singularly sagacious 
editorial deputy and alter ego, Sir William Hardman. 
Mr. O'Donnell's, too, was the pen which, when not 
occupied with international matters, reflected in the paper 
his own really instructive sidelights on the mutual con- 
nection of Irish Statecraft and Churchcraft. The 
same tradition shows itself as active in operation as ever 
during the twentieth century's early years. Imperial 
defence and fiscal readjustments have become the 
questions of the day. They are dealt with in the news- 
paper after a fashion whose fullness and accuracy of 
expert knowledge has not only informed those who 
dissent from some of its conclusions, but has con- 
fessedly compelled them to reconsider their own 
positions. 

This is all demonstrably due to the silky -mannered, 
silver -voiced, genially-cynical, suavely -shrewd, clear- 
sighted, hard-headed Scot who, after a struggle both 
long arid hard, contrived in the manner already described 
to make the oldest London newspaper exclusively his 
own, and to stamp it in every paragraph with his own 
idiosyncrasy. The Post, when sold at threepence, had 
a large and, though a mainly fashionable, a most com- 
mercially paying circulation. He was, therefore, under 
no pressure of circumstance to change the price. Had 
that charge been raised instead of reduced, the buyers and 
patrons of the paper would not have withdrawn their 



MAKERS OF THE PENNY PRESS 191 

support. No proprietor who did not combine Algernon 
Borthwick's literary training, newspaper experience, know- 
ledge of humian nature, and well placed confidence in 
himself would have ventured on an experiment jfroni 
which all his old subscribers persistently, united to dis- 
suade him. Nor had he ever a moment's doubt that the 
" organ of the classes " would flourish more rather 
than less when, at a popular price, he had made it the 
democracy's organ of the Monarchy, and the Empire. 

Other newspaper owners have rivalled or anticipated 
Borthwick's sagacity, courage, and prevision. Relying 
on their own sound judgment alone, they have successfully 
popularised, both as regards cost and contents, journals 
first started under conditions whose continuance would 
have kept prosperity beyond the reach of the penny, 
press. Indeed, long before Borthwitk's feat, another 
London Scot had already worked out the scenes of 
journalistic transformation afterwards to be effected by 
the future Lord Glenesk. Before the day of Daniel 
Stuart, here considered as the Morning Post's true 
founder, the paper had for its editors at least two un- 
frocked or retired divines. One of these, in 1775, ^^^ 
Henry Bate, less scurrilous of pen and imsavoury of 
life than the brother priest who was to be his successor, 
Jackson. A quarrel with his employer or his colleagues 
severed Bate's connection with the Post. In 1780 he 
contrived to start the Morning Herald, whose nineteenth - 
century, offspring was to be the Standard. Bate 
prospered, as did his journal. A family windfall gave 
him a little fortune. An appreciative Ministry made him 
a baronet; from April 17, 18 13, till 1824, when he 
died, Sir Edward Bate Dudley was a notability of the 
period. This newspaper baronet was by no means the 
first journalist of title. In 1681 the same honour had 
been given to another Fleet Street habitu6, George 
.Wharton. The Bate Dudley style was clearly due to 
the good offices of the Prince of Wales in the Regency 
period. The man selected for the honour had long done 
duty as a kind of convivial understudy to Sheridan and 
Fox at Carlton House and at the Pavilion. It wasi 
supremely indifferent to him what he printed or wrote 
so long as it raised a laugh or sold a copy, especially 
if it withdrew a single reader from his hated rival, the 



192 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

'Morning Post. Buffoonery, scurrility, riskiness of 
language, reeking of scandal, and only falling short oT 
the obscene, had formed the staple of the unregenerate 
Morning Post under Bate's editorship. These features 
were reproduced in the Morning Herald in its most 
ancient and least edifying period. Bate Dudley, indeed, 
had no other ideas than those which had already done 
duty in his earlier paper. His only notion of novelty, 
now was, in proportion as the Morning Post which had 
left him became more respectable and less Whig, to 
make the Morning Herald more anti-Tory and less 
nice. 

A succession of men less indifferent to the proprieties 
than Sir Edward Bate Dudley, and more energetic than 
those connected with him was, between 1827 and 1857, 
to give the Herald or other sheets issuing from the same 
establishment a noticeable place in the newspaper narra- 
tive of the period. The earliest among the Herald's 
later owners was Edward Baldwin, a thoroughly respect- 
able not less than enterprising and enlightened trader in 
journalism, who, two decades after Dudley's death, 
bought the paper from the little group of fifth -rate 
capitalists to which it had then. gone. He at once 
entered on a course of spirited rivalry to the Times. 
Printing House Square, however, set all its resources 
in motion to crush the new competitor. By this time 
the arrangements, originally due to the second John 
Walter's efforts, for securing foreign news had increased 
so much in cost that he had admitted the Morning 
Chronicle and the Morning Post to a partnership in this 
matter only with him. From that association he per- 
sisted in excluding Baldwin. The object of Walter's 
animosity soon proved not less equal to the occasion 
than, under similar trials, Walter had formerly shown 
himself. So excellently did his continental intelligence 
service work that, very early in his proprietorship, the 
Herald won European reputation for the promptitude, 
the accuracy, and the fullness of its dispiatches frojm) 
beyond the seas. By 1844 Pa,lmerston had been twice 
Foreign Minister ; he was then in opposition and abroad, 
but was universally pointed to as the one man who would 
dominate the entire policy, domestic as well as inter- 
national, of the next Liberal Cabinet. To him, there- 



MAKERS OF THE PENNY PRESS 193 

fore, Baldwin determined on giving a general but inde- 
pendent support. 

Meanwhile another newspaper runner of his own name 
had come forward. This was Edward Baldwin's son 
Charles, who had recently started by the purchase of the 
5^. James's Chronicle. That evening expositor, dating 
from 1760, of plain Whig principles, transformed itself 
promptly, imder Baldwin's dexterous touch, into a Tory 
sheet. He carried his efforts inl this political direction 
much further by bringing out for the first time, on 
May 21, 1827, another evening! paper called the Standard, 
the sum and substance of whose whole programme was 
the support of Tory Protestantism and resistance to 
Catholic emancipation. His political friends had sup- 
plied their astute propagandist with £15,000 for launch- 
ing the enterprise. Edward Baldwin had imitated the 
second John Walter in being, as regards the Herald, for 
the most part, his own editor. Conscious perhaps of 
literary inferiority to his father, the son had engaged 
as his literary conductor and adviser Stanley Lees 
Giffard, an Irish writer of much cleverness and notoriety, 
who, from having begun as editor of the St. James's 
Chronicle, now became responsible for the Standard. 
In newspaper diction and politics Giffard foreshadowed 
the best known qualities of his still happily surviving 
son. Lord Halsbury. That venerable and vigorous peer, 
in some of his most characteristic speeches, might, in- 
deed, sometimes be thought to have taken his fathe}''s 
most militant and inspiring articles for models. Not, 
indeed, that Giffard allowed himself to be a regular or 
even frequent writer for his own paper. He knew his 
business too well for that ; the editor had at hand, when 
he was not an inmate of the Fleet Prison for debt, 
a contributor deservedly famous for facility and skill in 
the composition of slashing " leaders." This was W. C. 
Maginn ; born at Cork in 1793, and educated at Trinity 
College, Dublin, he had no superiors, if, indeed, any 
equals, among the gifted young Irishmen then hurrying 
to try their fortunes on the other side of St. George's 
Channel. His best biography is written in J. G. Lock- 
hart's well-known epitaph on his death, at Walton-on- 
Thames, in 1842. His brilliancy and thriftlessness are 
personified in Thackeray's Captain Shandon, to whom 

13 



194 MASTERS OF JOURN^ALISM 

'reference has been already made. " Genius, wit, learning, 
life's trophies to win." Those, as Lockhart says, were 
his. What he lacked was "the great lord or rich cit 
of his kin," and the discretion to " set himself up as 
to tin." The lines conclude : 

" Barring drink and the girls, I ne'er heard a sin : 
Many worse, better few, than bright, broken Maginn." 

Maginn notoriously having been Captain Shandon's 
original, by what confusion of probabilities, it was once 
asked, did Thackeray, when describing Bungay's dinner 
party, represent as on terms of intimacy with Shandon 
Mr. Wagg, not less indisputably drawn from Theodore 
Hook, who never consorted with out -of -elbows scribblers, 
and who generally contrived to dine with a lord? The 
answer is simple. The association was as much a reflec- 
tion of realities as were the characters of the two men. 
Hook had started John Bull in 1820 as a Sunday paper. 
Three years later he projected, but did not accomplish, 
a Wednesday edition of it. Eventually, however, ,the 
idea was carried out. In 1823 Maginn began to edit 
the week-day edition of the, Simday print whose con- 
ception and execution make Theodore Hook a figure 
among the purely personal journalists of the Georgian 
era. Hook, a typical society journalist under jthe 
Regency, is described at once more briefly and more 
vividly in the Wagg of Pendennis and in the Lucian 
Gay of Coningsby than in Barbara's Life or Lockhart's 
famous Quarterly essay. When, as frequently hap- 
pened. Hook left the printer in the lurch, Maginn could 
generally be trusted to turn out the kind and the quantity 
of the " copy " wanted. The best proof of Maginn's 
really high standing with competent judges as a Tory 
writer is the fact that he was suggested, among others, 
as a possible editor for the second John Murray's Repre- 
sentative at the starting of that paper in 1826. The 
Representative's editorship, formally offered to the com- 
poser of Maginn's epitaph, J. G. Lockhart, Walter Scott's 
son-in-law, was refused by him for two reasons, one 
of which shows newspaper editorship even in 1826 
not entirely to have, outgrown its traditional stigma. 
Such a position, Lockhart and his father-in-law. 



MAKERS OF THE PENNY PRESS 195 

Scott, both protested, would not only compromise 
him seriously with his polite acquaintances, but would 
interfere with his pursuit of the legal profession. 
Shortly after this Lockhart, who had long been a writer 
for it, took the editorship of the Quarterly Review. Evi- 
dently, therefore, his real motive in declining the earlier 
proposal must have been a fear that, in stooping to 
newspaper employment, he would seem to degrade him- 
self as well as risk his prospects at the Bar. Here it 
may be added that the future Lord Beaconsfield, then 
known as Disraeli the Younger, was never recognised 
as the Representative editor. He, indeed, like a friend 
of his named Powles, agreed to find some £20,000 for 
launching the enterprise ; he also, in the second John 
Murray's words, plied that publisher with his unrelent- 
ing excitement and importunity to such effect that, against 
his better judglnent, he consented to the venture. The 
chief leader-writers were Lockhart and one or two of 
his friends then distinguished in politics and letters, 
but now only the shadows of names. Benjamin Disraeli 
bustled over Europe in quest of correspondents and of 
capital, but seems himself to have written little or nothing. 
It is therefore a pure fable to say, as has been said, that 
after two months' existence the Representative died of 
a leading article written by its editor Disraeli, and be- 
ginning with " Seated the other night in our box at the 
Opera." Afterwards, as will be seen presently, Disraeli 
made good with his pen his claim to be considered 
a " gentleman of the press." A newspaper -maker, how- 
ever, he at no time was. The whole of this episode, 
with the complicated relations it involved between Benja- 
min Disraeli, his father, on one hand, and Murray on 
the other, irresistibly recalls the situation described in 
Vivian Grey, in which the hero of the romance essayed 
just the same part in politics as that taken in journalism 
by the future Lord Beaconsfield, when urging Murray 
on to the costly enterprise. Trained in these schools, 
Maginn brought to the Standard in 1828 a clever trick 
of hitting off character in a few strokes of his pen, and 
enough of desultory, perhaps, but useful and well -re- 
membered reading to give his paragraphs a literary 
flavour which "made his (work a pleasant relief to ^ 
generation that had begun ito think its leading dailies 



196 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

were becoming, whatever their theme, intolerably didactic 
and desperately dull. For many years and under various 
editors, the present writer, with occasional breaks from 
the sixties till late into the eighties, was intimately con- 
nected with the journalistic offspring of Maginn's paper, 
the Standard, constituting, as that paper does, a link 
of the most varied and picturesque interest between the 
journalism of the last century and the present day. At 
one time there was on the Shoe Lane premises a mes- 
senger named Jenman, who, as a small boy, had daily 
brought Maginn's articles from that very room in the 
Fleet where Thackeray places Captain Shandon while 
penning the prospectus of the Pall Mall Gazette. During 
my own membership of the Standard staff at the points 
now looked back upon, Maginn's contributions could 
be identified frequently on the Morning Herald file, less 
often or easily on that of the Evenings Standard.^ Here 
they were studied less as patterns than as curiosities 
by us writers, while waiting to see the editor for his 
instructions. During the earlier years of James John- 
stone's ownership, presently to be dealt with in detail, 
the Standard had for its editor Thomas Hamber, who 
encouraged one of his writers, George Painter, in a vein 
more humorous than the paper generally indidged. 
Matthew Arnold had spoken in his essays about the 
" young lions of Peterborough Court." Painter's little 
burlesques of their style were headed the " Gaily Bello- 
graph," and, as their writer flattered himself, reproduced 
something of Maginn's humour. 

Edward Baldwin's death left to his son Charles ithe 
Morning Herald. Concurrently with that, he carried on 
the evening newspaper founded by himself, the Standard. 
Hence, till 1868, the issue from the same office of the 
Morning Herald and the morning, as well as evening 
Standard. Meanwhile the Baldwin dispensation had long 
since come to an end, and been succeeded by an entirely 
new regime. Johnstone, Wintle, Cooper, and Evans con- 
stituted a well-known firm of accountants. One of the 

* No more, of course, than that of the present day was the Evening Standard 
of the sixties the Standard in which Maginn wrote, nor was there any complete 
series of Baldwin's evening paper constituting the original Standard. Still 
there seems no reason why the articles traditionally called Maginn's may not have 
been from his pen. 



MAKERS OF THE PENNY PRESS 197 

partners in this business, James Johnstone, had a retnark- 
able turn for politics as well as for figures. Social acci- 
dents had acquainted him with and brought him under 
the influence of a future Dean of St. Paul's, H. L. 
Mansel, then an Oxford tutor, famed for his rhetoric 
and wit, as well as the militant leader of conservatism 
on the Isis. Baldwin's affairs had fallen into hopeless 
confusion ; his papers had gone down. A sagacious 
and honest friend, John Maxwell, who subsequently 
married Miss Braddon the novelist, advised him to refuse 
no reasonable offer for his newspaper property. When 
the sale had been effected. Maxwell's expert counsel 
proved as valuable to the new owner as it had been to 
the old. In truth, however, James Johnstone was clear- 
headed and strong-minded enough to need no other coun- 
sellor than himself. He had secured a manager from one 
of his partners in the accountancy firm, D. Morier Evans ; 
to him the entire business department was entrusted. 
The first step taken was on June 29, 1857, to bring out 
the Standard as a morning paper, the price being reduced 
from fourpence to twopence, and the quantity of matter 
being doubled. Next year, February 4, 1858, the cost 
was reduced still further to a penny, the Morning Herald, 
though under the same management as the Standard, 
continuing to be sold at fourpence. Two years later, 
in i860, the penny morning Standard published an after- 
noon edition also priced at a penny, and known as the 
Evening Standard. James Johnstone placed in the same 
hands the editorship of his two morning papers and his 
evening one. The morning Standard and the Morning 
Herald gave the same news but different leaders. If an 
article struck the editor as a little over the heads of the 
penny public, it generally went into the fourpenny Herald, 
but was often lifted from that to do duty also in the 
Evening Standard. At the beginning of its penny period, 
the Standard's record gained a certain picturesqueness 
from the thin, spare, but manly and handsome figure 
which filled its editorial chair. Among the City persons 
with whom Johnstone's business had brought him into 
contact was a certain Insolvency Court official named 
Hamber. This gentleman's son, with a turn for writing 
and an instinct for politics, had been at Oriel while 
Lord Goschen was still an undergraduate of the same 



198 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

College, and during the same period that, among other 
Cabinet Ministers who were to be, the ninth Lord Salis- 
bury and Ward Hunt, the future Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, were keeping their Oxford terms elsewhere. After 
that, Thomas Hamber served in the Swiss Legion during 
the Crimean War. On entering journalistn he was knoiwn 
as Captain Hamber. Throughout the sixties and seventies 
he remained as familiar a personage in Pall Mall as in 
Fleet Street. Hamber in his best days united igreat 
intellectual quickness with many political opportunities, 
with wide social popularity, and with a certain personal 
magnetism which made him a leader of men. Never, 
perhaps, on the parliamentary staff, he had regularly 
attended the parliamentary debates about which he was 
to write articles. The two great Times editors already 
mentioned had been men of physical prowess. Barnes, 
at Cambridge, not knowing who he was, once prepared to 
square up to Tom Cribb himself, only to hear that 
master of fisticuffs murmur, with sleepy scorn, " I'm 
Cribb." Delane, while keeping his terms at Magdalen 
Hall, had not come off second best with another profes- 
sional pugilist, the " Chicken of Wheatley." Had 
Johnstone's first editor had the same opportunities as 
Barnes or Delane for showing his pluck and prowess, 
he need not have feared comparison with them. With 
the help of a tact and temper equal to his other remark- 
able qualities, he might have retained his position 
throughout the Johnstonian period. Of the writers who, 
under him, helped to make the Standard newspaper in its 
new, that is, its now long familiar form, one, George 
Painter, has been already mentioned. The paper's many 
personal friendships if not interests abroad called for 
special wariness, knowledge, and tact in dealing with 
foreign affairs. With the unerring rapidity which he 
then seldom lacked, Hamber found the men exactly cut 
out for this particularly delicate and responsible work, 
a practised writer trained on the Morning Chrqriicle — 
Burton Blyth, and a future Poet Laureate. Mr. Alfred 
Austin had before this been connected with the Daily, 
Telegraph. He was, however, best known by his first 
satirical poem. The Season, and, among an inner literary 
circle, by a clever and audacious attack on the Saturday 
Review and its editor in a pamphlet entitled a Letter 



MAKERS OF THE PENNY PRESS 199 

to Cook. The Saturday reviewers having been severe 
on his verses, Mr. Austin ironically addressed their chief 
as " evidently one of those genial, unceremonious, 
thoroughly good fellows, who would be hurt if ap- 
proached in a more formal manner." Of Roman Catholic 
birth and education, Mr. Austin had lived much abroad, 
especially in Italy, after leaving Stonyhurst, before being 
called to the Bar in 1857. Continental politics were only, 
one of the subjects he had made his own. In 1870 he 
won real distinction for the Standard as well as for 
himself by the exhaustive circumstantiality with which, 
almost immediately on its appearance, he refuted in 
several columns Mrs. Beecher Stowe's Lady Byron Vindi- 
cated. Often at headquarters during the Franco -Prussian 
War, whether as correspondent abroad or leader-writer 
at home, he personified in himself the better and popular 
Standard which Johnstone had created just as the public 
saw the threefold intellectual power that made the Daily 
Telegraph in Edwin Arnold, George Sala, and Felix 
Whitehurst. Mr. Austin's intimacy with the TroUope 
family after he himself had ceased to travel for the 
paper gave him the opportunity of putting the novelist's 
elder brother, Thomas Adolphus Trollope, as Italian 
correspondent, in the same relation to the Standard as 
that to which, by Bulwer-Lytton's good offices, Antonio 
Gallenga had been promoted on the Times. The then 
Lord Robert Cecil contributed a few political slashers 
under Hamber, but most of the hard hitting in this 
department was done by Percy Greg, W. R. Greg's 
clever son, and H. E. Watts, formerly editor of the 
Melbourne Argus, who, in each of the Shoe Lane papers, 
consistently and emphatically advocated Colonial Prefer- 
ence and an Imperial Tariff, while as yet Disraeli had 
not meditated speaking in that sense, and long before 
the ideas were officially recognised at any of the Con- 
servative headquarters. Before or after his Crimean 
spell of soldiering, Hamber had been much in Paris 
and in several German capitals. The waiting-rooms 
in Shoe Lane were in his day filled with foreign refugees 
of all nationalities, seekingi employment as translators 
or with early and exclusive news from Continental 
Embassies and' Chanceries to sell. Such persons in the 
sixties abounded in most newspaper offices ; they imposed 



200 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

upon no one less than upon Hamber. Of Napoleon III. 
and his personal surroundings Hamber's first-hand 
knowledge equalled Borthwick's, and so of course gave 
rise to the rumour that the Standard, as well as the Post, 
was in the pay of the Tuileries. In the case of the 
Standard this was as ancient a legend as it was in the 
case of the Post ; for when in Baldwin's day it had been 
an evening paper, it was currently spoken of as existing 
mainly on a Napoleonic subsidy. During the Franco - 
Prussian War, 1871, the Standard in its comments held 
the balance equally between the two comibatants, pud 
was mainly distinguished by its success in securing 
Sir Henry Brackenbury to write his diary in the war, as 
well as, on one or two occasions, to watch for it the 
progress of the struggle from the battlefields themselves. 
Then, as at such other times, it was chiefly represented 
on the theatre of strife by G. A. Henty, while the eldest 
brother of the present Lord KnoUys, Major W. W. 
KnoUys, most frequently wrote the military " leaders." 
Nor did any other editor of his time surpass Hamber 
in attracting to his journal writers who professionally 
showed themselves equally at home with the sword and 
with the pen. Well thought of by Benjamin Disraeli„ 
whom he frequently visited in his London house at 
Grosvenor Gate and in Buckinghamshire at Hughenden, 
Hamber, before threatening cloudspots on his horizon' 
were discovered to be presaging a certain fall, was 
admiringly pointed to by the wirepullers and minor 
scribes of his party as a model Conservative editor of 
the most militant and chivalrous type. Between 1861 
and 1865, with the more demonstrative spirits of the 
Carlton Club, approval of this editor was transfigured 
into enthusiasm by his daily " leaders " maintaining the 
Southern cause in the American Civil War, and yet 
more by the letters, even more fiercely anti -Federal still, 
signed " Manhattan," which sent up the circulation of 
the paper by leaps and bounds. Neither Delane's un- 
shaken ascendancy with the Times, nor the triumphant 
advances of the Levy Lawsons, with the Daily Telegraph, 
to the " largest circulation in the world " materially 
impaired the personal prestige won by Hamber. In 
1868, the collision between the two Houses over Glad- 
stone's Irish Church Bill gave him the signal for re- 



MAKERS OF THE PENNY PRESS 201 

o^ , ; iing, with fiercer demands than ever of no quarter 
to the enemy, the war against Glad'stonianism. The reck- 
less rank and file cheered till they, were hoarse. The 
judicious, however, began to shake their heads. Some 
of Hamber's own writers hinted to the proprietor the 
doubts they had long felt about a policy which chiefly 
consisted of charging a granite wall. Moreover, it was 
adroitly instilled into James Johnstone's mind that while 
Hamber ^von cheers by the constant raising of impractic- 
able war cries, he also had his own axes to grind. If the 
paper were to render to the party services as valuable 
as undoubtedly were in its power, its conductor must take 
counsel with the party managers as well as ask for infor- 
mation from them. Great improvements in the Standard 
buildings were then going forward. It began to be 
whispered that when the new premises were further on 
their way to completion, a new editorial regime would 
begin. Hamber point-blank refused the proposal of any- 
thing like supervision by, or even co-operation with, any 
Conservative official from Parliament Street . The Carlton 
Club men were horrified at his audacity, and declared 
he would speedily find he had reached the end of his 
tether. No one, therefore, felt really much surprised 
when it became known that Johnstone's solicitor pne 
October morning in 1870 had called upon Hamber at 
his Chiswick home with an intimation of his services 
being no more required. The dismissed editor carried off 
the crushing sentence with resigned and even cheery com- 
posure. He rallied his energies to fight against the 
ruin falling upon him ; he found a good friend in Morier 
Evans, the Standard manager. The two men combined 
their efforts. The result was a rival to the Standard in 
the shape of the short-lived Hour, about which something 
will be said presently. James Johnstone followed 
Hamber's dismissal from the Standard by overtures to 
the Conservative headquarters for cementing the tradi- 
tional connection between the party and the paper. The 
arrangement decided on made James Johnstone's ,son 
nominally editor with Sir John Gorst to supply the defects 
of his political experience and Mr. A. P. Sinnett and 
Mr. Burton Blyth to read his proofs. So things went on 
until after 1874, when Sir John Gorst's criticisms of Lord 
Carnarvon's colonial policy brought about first his dis- 



202 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

missal and then the end of the whole provisional regime. 
All this time, however, the shrewd owner of the Standard 
had his eye upon one of his Gallery, staff, who, in 1867, 
had acted with great success as Jamaica correspondent 
during the Eyre-Gordon riots. This was W. H. Mud- 
ford, a member of a well-known journalistic and literary 
family. His father had been editor of the Courier, 
about which so much has already been said ; his mother 
had written novels, and his brothers, if not W. H. 
Mudford himself, had a share in more than one Kentish 
newspaper. The new editor made almost a clean sweep 
of the remnants of the old staff, the most notable excep- 
tion being Mr. Alfred Austin. The then Laureate elect 
wrote through most of the Mijdfordian epoch the same 
articles, both as to subject and quantity, which he had 
begun to furnish under Hamber. The uniform success 
attending his work made James Johnstone on his death 
name Mr. Mudford in his will not only editor in per- 
petuity, but manager with a substantial share in the 
paper's profits. The will at the same time provided 
that the Standard should always be conducted upon Con- 
servative principles. Sir John Gorst, it has been said, 
had been got rid of for his audacity in criticising a 
Conservative Minister's dealings with the colonies. 
Placed beyond the possibility of sharing Sir John Gorst's 
fate, Mr. Mudford employed his omnipotence in Shoe Lane 
in openly showing a slightly contemptuous indifference 
as regards the instructions or the menaces, the prejudices, 
sensibilities, and threats of the Tapers and Tadpoles, in 
a word the whole tribe of " twelve -hundred -a -yearers," 
as, using Disraeli's phrase, he called the Tite Barnacles 
of the Conservative headquarters. Not one of the paper's 
arrangements, political, literary, commercial, mechanical, 
did Mr. Mudford meglect or fail permanently to improve. 
As good at organisation as editorship, he perfected all 
the arrangements for a Continental news supply. The 
daily Paris wire and other facilities provided by him 
for his French correspondent, Hely Bowes, made the 
Standard, for the first time in its life, in the matter 
of world -embracing news, commercial not less than 
political, a formidable competitor not only with the Daily 
Telegraph but with the Times. The editor of that paper, 
indeed, as for many others so for Mr. Mudford, had 



MAKERS OF THE PENNY PRESS 203 

become a model, followed by him in details as well as 
generalities, down even to the headline of a side para- 
graph. Mr. Mudford's great strokes were due to the 
courage and resourcefulness enabling him alone among 
the journalists of his time to forestall in his columns the 
publication equally of important books and Government 
papers. In 1880 he gave the public Mr. Gladstone's 
forthcoming Irish Land Bill while it was yet in the 
Government printer's hands ; a little later he published 
a detailed accoxmt of Lord Beaconsfield's Endymion, 
at least a week before the earliest review copy of that 
novel had been sent out. 

One of Delane's examples most successfully .adopted 
by Mr. Mudford was the publication of headed articles, 
occasionally even leaders, from the pen of writers not 
belonging to his regular staff. Among these were Sir 
Clinton Dawkins, then in the India OfSce, who during 
the eighties enabled the Standard, in advance of the 
whole daily press, to publish full details concerning the 
creation of a reserve corps for the native army, and the 
maintenance of the Imperial Service Troops, paid and 
officered by the native States, but under British super- 
vision, and available for general service under the Indian 
Government. These troops were, of course, distinct from 
those kept up by the States for purely local use, and prac- 
tically for honorary and ceremonial purposes rather than 
for fighting. Colonel Stirling, then of the Scots Guards, 
also contributed many interesting and valuable para- 
graphs, a selection of short pieces embodying the latest 
news of the hour, and started by Mr. Mudford as an 
entirely fresh feature in the paper. For some quarter of 
a century he devoted his strong brains, energies, and 
opportunities to modernising or rather recreating the 
journal that, started by Charles Baldwin in 1827, had 
been in existence exactly two years less than three- 
quarters of a century when, in 1900, Mr. Mudford, on 
his retirement, handed it over to his second in command, 
George Byrom Curtis. This sure-footed, steady -paced, 
and most capable journalist had long taken charge of 
the paper in his chief's occasional absence, and had 
done all the night work. He was thus Mr. Mudford's' 
only possible successor. The dispensation established in 
Shoe Lane since then has been one not of revolution but 



204 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

development. Under Hamber the Standard, it has been 
seen, advocated Colonial Preference. Its policy under 
Mr. Pearson has, therefore, marked a reversion to that 
whose keynote was first sounded during the second half 
of the last century. 

Before passing to another order of newspaper makers, 
something may be said about the several gentlemen whose 
careers as newspaper projectors, inspired in some cases 
by the success of the Shoe Lane celebrities, left a whole- 
some and enduring mark on the journalism of their day. 
In 1874, w^ith money found by his loyal Shoe Lane 
colleague of other days, D. Morier Evans, and by a few 
more friends, Tom Hamber started the Hour. Its 
speciality was to be the ultra-Protestant Conservatism, 
whose headquarters were the National Club, Whitehall. 
It brought out several clever writers who have been 
heard of since. Chief among these were Sir Spencer 
•Walpole, the historian, Mr. W. L. Courtney, while these 
lines are being written editor of the Fortnightly Review, 
and Mr. H. de B. Rollings, then fresh from Oxford, where 
as Fellow of Corpus, he had crowned a brilliant course 
with what Benjamin Jowett pronounced to be the best 
English essay which had won the Chancellor's Prize 
since J. A. Symonds', six years earlier. On the death of 
Hamber's tried and trusty ally, D. Morier Evans, under 
the auspices of a Presbyterian clergyman, the Rev. J. R. 
Badenoch, the Hour was kept alive by money doles at 
first from Colonel MacDonald and other gentlemen, 
chiefly Scotch, of whom Lord Balfour of Burleigh is 
to-day probably the one survivor. After several subse- 
quent vicissitudes, Mr. MacDougall financed it for a time 
as the organ of his opposition to Baron Albert Grant. 
But in 1876 there came a day when, as he afterwards 
said to Hamber, Disraeli " heard with a pang that the 
Hour was no more." So ended the second and the last 
attempt at organising an opposition to the Standard. 
The first of these efforts belonged to the year 1866-7, 
the period of the abortive Russell -Gladstone and the 
successful Derby -Disraeli Reform Bills. Edited by James 
Hutton, in 1867 the Day had begun as the organ of the 
Conservative dissidents from the Reform ideas with 
which Derby and Disraeli were both credited, and of the 
more philosophic politicians who believed in proportional 



MAKERS OF THE PENNY PRESS 205 

representation. Afterwards the Day accepted the Dis- 
raelian view — ^not that a democratic franchise was in itself 
desirable, but that, inasmuch as it had become impossible 
to avoid it, the wisest thing would be to end the con- 
troversy by resting the Constitution on the Iped-rock of 
household suffrage. Before that, however, the support, 
political, literary, and financial, of the AduHamites, with 
other party malcontents on both sides, had put the paper 
in a fair way of flourishing, even of becoming perman- 
ently and prosperously established by the capable and 
instructive writers who vigorously represented in its 
columns a school of political thought till then inarticulate 
in the press. Indeed, some reference to the Museum file 
of Hutton's paper will always be necessary for the writer 
who is to take his readers behind the scenes of the period, 
or vividly to bring before them the shifting scenes in 
the drama of plot and counter -plot, the twists, the whirls 
in the political imdercurrents, with the personal agencies 
at work, and the methods pursued by the men who either 
directed them or were carried along by them. Not less 
noticeable were the services rendered to the penny public 
by Hamber and his literary supporters on the Hour, more 
particularly Spencer Walpole, Colonel F. Cunningham, 
one of Allan Cunningham's sons, great on the old English 
dramatists, a sometime Saturday reviewer, and the 
formerly well-known vigorous Madras ex -law officer, John 
Bruce Norton. The writers now mentioned excelled not 
so much in leading articles as in social and political 
essays of real literary flavour, containing much illustration 
and knowledge then made accessible for the first time. 
Of newspaper -writers who, on the other side, stamped 
their personality in lasting characters on the press, some- 
thing will presently be said. Here it may properly be 
pointed out that, the literary and intellectual traditions of 
Whiggism notwithstanding, with only a few breaks, from 
the Bolingbrokian to the Disraelian era, there has been 
a closer alliance between journalists and generals on the 
Tory or Conservative than on the Liberal side. Of that 
fact a memorable instance had been afforded during the 
Crimean War. In 1853 the newly started Press had 
become the weekly mouthpiece of the Conservative party, 
then led by Disraeli. Samuel Lucas, subsequently the 
brightest and best informed of Times reviewers, and 



206 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

David T. Coulton were, at different times, its editors. A 
subsequent personal link between the party heads and the 
paper was the already, mentioned Mr. T. E. Kebbel. The 
management of the Press had vested itself in a committee 
whose meetings were regularly attended by Disraeli him- 
self, especially throughout that season when the paper 
had concentrated all its energies on turning out the 
Coalition Ministry for its Crimean blunders. On one 
of these occasions the article, which was to be the opening 
feature of the week, struck the assembled judges as below 
the necessity of the hour. Disraeli at once undertook to 
replace it by another of his own composition. He went 
to the next room, and returned in an hour with the com- 
plete copy ready for the printer. " A better leader," !said 
a Liberal journalist of the day, " never appeared in print." 
The old rivalry of the Morning Herald first, of the 
Standard afterwards, had been with the Times. The 
journal against which, of more recent years, the Standard 
has pitted itself has been the Daily Telegraph. For several 
reasons the personal associations of this paper mark an 
epoch in journalistic history. Its foundation by a man 
about town, living not for business but enjoyment, sug'gests 
that newspaper projection was in a fair way, of Isecoming 
fashionable. Further, but for the abolition of the Stamp 
Duty in 1855, it could not have been sold at its original 
price of twopence. Its reduction to a penny in September 
of the same year by, the new owners who, in the second 
month of its existence, had bought it from its founder, 
made it the pioneer of the penny press. A distinguished 
member, now the head, of the family who had become 
its possessors, the present Lord Bumham-, while still 
Mr. Edward L. Levy, gratified his theatrical tastes and 
improved the property by dramatic notices which at once 
gave the paper a vogue with play -going London. But 
the journalistic instinct and genius were strong in all 
generations of his relatives. None of them but knew at 
a glance the exact sort of writing wanted by the public 
of their day, or the exact men who, in their plastic hands 
and moulded by their training, could be trusted to supply 
it. The experience of the Victorian age repeats itself 
to-day. Mr. H. L. Wi. Lawson, Lord Bumham's heir, 
is but the twentieth -century proof of the newspaper 
faculty being innate and hereditary in the house of which 



MAKERS OF THE PENNY PRESS 207 

he some day must be the chief. The Walters, the Borth- 
wicks, the Levy Lawsons make the great family, 
journalistic trio of the Victorian Age. If Printing House 
Square led, Peterborough Court or even Shoe Lane paid 
it the compliment of promptly following. Earlier in 
the nineteenth century the competition for Cabinet place 
among the great political families still remained keen. 
This at the point in the Victorian Age now reached was 
replaced by what, even in the absence of all private 
animosities, could not but be a war of the great journal - 
owning families. The incidents in this struggle are too 
much inwrought into the general history of the time to 
be closely followed here. The fight for deliverance from 
the " taxes on knowledge " began over the issue of the 
newspaper stamp abolition in 1855. This the Walters 
at once made a personal matter, describing the measure as 
one for " restricting the circulation of the Times, raising 
up an inferior and piratical press, and sacrificing a 
revenue of £200,000 a year." ' As regards paper 
duty, repeal six years later, the opening note sounded 
from Printing House Square was very different. The 
muster of the rival clans did not prevent the house of 
Walter's acknawledgment that the proposal for with- 
drawing the time-honoured impost was inevitable in itself, 
and even might not be entirely mischievous in its results. 
It was, however, inopportune. And so on and so on. 
Thus from day, to day the Walter writers were occupied 
with qualifying and hedging against what had been said 
a little earlier.^ Meanwhile the Walters enjoyed the 
compensating satisfaction of seeing their coinpetitors 
practically acknowledge that, in respect of enterprise, 
expenditure, contents, and even arrangement, they had 
established a journalistic type to which, if they were to 
secure any hold on the public, the new broadsheets for 
the masses must conform. The " organ of the City " 
was really popular during the autumnal holiday, when it 
began to be relieved of long parliamentary reports -and 
became, in a word, pleasant family reading. The 
" gentlemen and widows " described by Kinglake in a 
memorable passage as forming the small fry of the 

' The Times, March 20, 1855. 

' See the Times file for February and March, i860. 

\ 



208 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Printing House Square proprietorial body," had subnais- 
sively but successfully appealed to Mr. Walter that he 
might think well of increasing their little dividends by 
somewhat lightening his columns when Parliament was 
not sitting. Accordingly, when that period came round, 
two of the most pointed and accomplished pens ever in 
the Walter employ, John Oxenford, the theatrical critic, 
and John Davison, who afterwards married Miss Arabella 
Goddard, the pianist, and who did the music, were per- 
mitted freer and fuller play in their brilliant and popular 
notices or retrospects of opera, concert, and stage. Pro- 
portionate space was allowed to the two best experts in 
current literature, George Dallas and Samuel Lucas. 
Thus, then, did the Walter family provide a stimulating 
exemplar for the legion of new rivals, led by the Levy 
Lawsons with the Daily Telegraph.. This paper had 
passed from its founder, Colonel Sleigh, into the 
possession of his printer, Mr. J. M. Levy, who, quick- 
witted, clear-sighted and enterprising, laid the foundations 
of success that two years less thani half a century after- 
wards was to be crowned by the creation of the Bumham 
barony. On its purchase by him the paper consisted 
of a single small sheet ; a few months later he doubled 
its size, and reduced its price to a penny. By January, 
1856, the new proprietor had secured a daily sale lof 
twenty -seven thousand. And it had needed less than 
four months to take this long step towards that 
" largest circulation in the world " which soon became 
the journal's popular synonym. It was, too, a literary 
as well as commercial success. The Oxford Professor 
of Poetry might have his jokes about " the whole 
earth being ennobled every morning by the magnificent 
roaring of the young lions of the Daily Telegraph," 
but the public generally, and members of the newspaper 
craft in particular, knew that it meant as much to be in 
the employ of Peterborough Court (then the TelegrapKs 
headquarters 2) as to write for the weekly whose owner 

" Invasion of the Crimea (cabinet edition), vol. ii. p. 233. 

= The statement that the Daily Telegraph's original offices were in Catherine 
Street, Strand, is pure fable. The earliest offices were opposite St. Clement 
Dane's Church, in the Strand, where Samuel Johnson once worshipped ; a few 
doors firom Carr's Restaurant, where Charles Dickens and George Sala used to 
dine. Thence was the removal to the present site in Fleet Street, involving the 
purchase of a paperhanger's freehold from the Ecclesiastical Commission. 



MAKERS OF THE PENNY PRESS 209 

was Mr. Beresford Hope, and whose editor had^ his 
offices in the Albany. Mr. Levy had, indeed, got together 
a staff which combined the freshest and most serviceable 
brains of their own day with the best traditions of an 
earlier epoch. Such, pre-eminently, was Thornton Hunt, 
Leigh Hunt's son, who tempered his father's fervour by 
his own cool head and practical knowledge of newspaper 
management. Meanwhile the author of Pickwick had 
in 1850 begun to make his earliest magazine. Household 
Words, a singularly effective training -ground for the 
rising generation of newspaper -writers. The Levy 
Lawson family, as at another time the proprietors of the 
paper whose first editor had been Dickens himself, found 
some of their most useful pens among the pupils of a 
master who was not only the most popular novelist of 
his time, but quite the best instructor in the rudiments 
of literary production. On none of this school was the 
Dickens mark stamped with better result than on G. A. 
Sala, who, in the hands of the present Lord Burnham and 
Thornton Hunt, developed from a desultory essayist into 
the creator of the social and miscellaneous " leader," 
so symmetrical in form and telling in its points as soon to 
become a model for the popular journalist. Sala was, too, 
a correspondent who served the paper well in all quarters 
of the globe. Not France only but Europe agreed to see 
another literary incarnation of the Telegraph in the pen- 
and-ink impressionist, who sent it by every mail his vivid 
sketches of the Paris world or half world, of the imperial 
Cabinet's doings, and of a whole continent's diplomatic 
or political coulisses. Felix Whitehurst was at home 
equally with his subject and his public. If his descrip- 
tions of f6tes at the Elys6e and the Tuileries represented 
the sky as brighter than was actually the case, his 
invention of the " Daily Telegraph moon " only made 
him more popular with his readers. Never were the 
social genius, the glare, the glitter, and the local colour 
of the second Empire transferred so vividly to paper. 
Politicians used to consider themselves made as soon 
as their caricatures appeared in Punch. Whitehurst was 
in his prime, and his newspaper had recently christened 
Mr. Gladstone " the people's William," when Charles 
Austin's smart article in the Saturday Review, Jupiter 
Junior, gave the paper a sobriquet soon to become as 

14 



210 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

familiar as, but more euphonious and complimentary, 
than the Mrs. Gamp and Mrs. Harris long applied to 
the Morning Herald and the Standard. The Daily Tele- 
graph, however, played upon the public with heavier 
guns than those just mentioned. A chance sight of Mr. 
Levy's advertisement in 1861 had brought an ex -scholar 
of University, Oxford, a Newdigate prize-winner, of 
Poona, in India, to Peterborough Court. Perhaps, 
indeed, Edwin Arnold, rather than Sala, should be called 
the original inventor of the genuine Daily Telegraph 
" leader." For the best part of a generation he con- 
tinued the prose, as well as, upon occasions, the poetical 
laureate of the paper, often combining editorial work 
with his writing. Round him there gathered the keen 
metaphysical and political intellect of James MacdoneH, 
brought from Russel's staff on the Scotsman in Edin- 
burgh, Edward Dicey, Jeffery Prowse, Herbert Stack, 
J. M. Le Sage, George Hooper, scarcely less good a 
judge of military strategy than of political movement. 
H. D. Traill did not come on till 1882. Some years 
later still was Mr. W. L. Courtney, who, supplementing 
his ripe Oxford knowledge of philosophy and classics with 
a genius for dramatic art, was qualified for theatrical 
criticism as well as political or general discourse in the 
"leader " columns. Throughout these years. Bishop 
Samuel Wilberforce was only one among several im- 
partial and competent critics who were struck by the 
paper's additions in its natural history and historical 
articles to the popular stock of educating knowledge. 
The great hits of its special correspondents were, 
in 1874, H. M. Stanley's completion of the African 
explorations made by the Dr. Livingstone whom 
three years earlier he had discovered for the New 
York Herald, George Smith's successful search among 
the Nineveh ruins for the cuneiform account of the 
Deluge, Sir H. Johnston's ascent of Kilimanjaro and 
researches in 1884, and Lionel Decle's march from Cape 
to Cairo in 1900. 

The newspaper house of Levy Lawson is one of the 
comparatively few which enjoys the satisfaction of seeing 
its property uninjured, and its own prestige unimpaired, 
by the competitors whom its success with the Daily 
Telegraph has naturally raised up. The founder of the 



MAKERS OF THE PENNY PRESS 211 

family fortunes, Mr. J. M. Levy, as may be inferred from 
what has already been said, was himself liberally gifted 
with the real journalistic genius. That faculty has 
descended to his grandson, Mr. Harry Lawson, who to- 
day represents those of his kin and name in the active 
management of, to use the obsolete name, the Peter- 
borough Court business. The connecting linjk between 
the two generations, the first Lord Burnham, united with 
singular charm of manner and subtlety of intellect not 
only high literary power but an extraordinary editorial 
faculty, the more effective because of the unconventional 
method of its execution. Standing on the hearth -ruig or 
walking up and down the room with hands deep in his 
shooting-coat pockets, and a cigar of inspiration in his 
mouth, he gave forth in emphatic and homely sentences 
the points which he wished the writer he was addressing 
most forcibly to bring out. By the time the oral brief 
had been fully delivered, the contributor who was to 
execute the work found that the " leader " had practically 
written itself in the tersely suggestive and idiomatically 
phrased instructions of his chief. Since then^ from the 
sixties to the present time, the experiences that, at the 
earlier day, may have been those of Edwin Arnold, 
Edward Dicey, Herbert Stack, or H. D. Traill, iwith 
Edward Lawson, have been repeated on other scenes 
in the case of newer men. But in his day the twentieth- 
century Lord Burnham had no superior and few rivals in 
stimulating, after the fashion now described, his able 
men to do the most successful and the best work that was 
in them. 

In 1844 Charles Dickens, whose novels now brought 
him high prices and world-wide fame, renewed, as an 
occasional writer, his connection with the Morning 
Chronicle, in which, ten years beft 'e, he had begun as a 
reporter. He wanted comparative rest and foreign 
change. Would the paper commission him to send 
sketches of European travel from such particular places 
and at such particular times as he should find convenient ? 
Editor Black had now been succeeded by Andrew Doyle ; 
he, after consultation with his proprietors, found himself 
compelled to decline the offer on the ground of expense. 
Dickens went off in a huff, and never entered the 
Chronicle offices again. The wound inflicted on his self- 



212 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

love refused healing, and would, indeed, give him no 
rest till he should have started an opposition to his old 
paper. His special counsellor, John Forster, now called 
in, arranged a meeting with his publishers, Bradbury and 
Evans ; these at once entered into the proposal. No 
definite or practical decision, however, was to be taken 
till Dickens had refreshed himself with the long-coveted 
holiday abroad. By January, 1846, all this had been 
done. The novelist had returned thoroughly reinvigor- 
ated to command the hostile movement now organised 
against the Chronicle. This took final and public form 
in the Daily News. How Dickens as editor led off with a 
characteristic statement of its mission ; how its opening 
number appeared, January 21, 1846; how its first 
" leader " was written by William Johnson Fox, the 
paid speaker of the Anti-Corn Law League, who showed 
his unique power with the working classes by the 
audiences he held spellbound at the National Hall, 
Holborn, and who, as a writer, was the first critic to 
popularise Robert Browning ; all these things have been 
related, by the well-informed pens of Mr. Justin McCarthy 
and Mr. John Collins Francis. The capital found for 
the paper by the printers, Bradbury and Evans, was 
largely increased by contributions from the novelist's 
personal friends. First among these came Sir Joseph 
Paxton, whom he knew through his acquaintance with 
the Duke of Devonshire and his frequent visits to Chats - 
worth. Other shareholders were Sir William Jackson, 
at different times the local leader or parliamentary 
champion of Midland or North of England Liberalism, 
and, most important of all. Sir Joshua Walmsley. Before 
entering Parliament in 1847, Walmsley had lectured and 
written in Lancashire and Leicestershire on the democratic 
aspects of the characters and the scenes described by the 
inovelist, hailed by him as the best friend to progress and 
reform yet seen in English fiction. It was he whom 
Cobden looked upon as the best Liberal organiser of his 
party, and to whom, in 1849, he specially entrusted the 
bringing of the borough registers under the control of 
men favourable " to our policy and to the four points." ' 
Walmsley did even better work than this in bringing 

' Lord Morley's Cobden, vol. ii. p. 57. 



MAKERS OF THE PENNY PRESS 213 

together middle-class people and Chartists without setting 
them by the ears. That, too, constituted from the first, 
in its editor's view, the Daily News policy. All those 
now mentioned were influenced personally by Dickens to 
support the paper. Without his name the necessary 
funds would not have been forthcoming. The Daily 
News, therefore, seemed to him a thing of his own 
creation, to be dealt with exactly as suited his convenience 
and whim. He had done his part when he gave the start 
and drew up the programme, pledging its support to 
the principles of progress, improvement, of civil and 
religious liberty, and of equal legislation. That done, 
in the exercise of his paternal right, he put it out to 
edit just as, in his novel, Oliver Twist had been put 
out for an apprentice. Genius resented the drudgery of 
editorship. Not without a touch of his own Harold 
Skimpole spirit, Dickens complained to Forster of Fleet 
Street's monotony and fog, and sighed for a renewal of 
his acquaintance with Southern skies and sunshine. After 
four months Forster became, in title as well as in reality, 
the editor of the Daily News. For its earliest fair 
start, however, the paper was indebted to Charles Went- 
worth Dilke, the late Sir Charles Dilke's grandfather, 
equally eminent in literary criticism and newspaper busi- 
ness capacity. Undertaking its management at the 
decisive point in its destiny, with his son's co-operation, 
he prevented the newspaper from settling by the head. 
The two at once matured a most effective system for 
the paper's circulation through the provinces soon after 
its appearance in London. Their first great triumph 
came in 1848, the year of European revolutions. Space 
was then beginning to be precious, and had to be econo- 
mised accordingly. " Miracles of faithful compression 1 " 
exclaimed the newspaper experts, when morning after 
morning they scrutinised the complete, telling, and terse 
pen-and-ink panorama of European disturbance, from 
which no essential detail was omitted, presented under Mr. 
Dilke's personal supervision and at his instance. The 
Daily News was on the eve of publishing its first number 
when its prospects were discussed at a dinner-table round 
which had assembled, among other leading literary 
Liberals, Eyre Crowe, subsequently Dickens's great 
leader-writer, Dickens himself, John Forster, Henry 



214 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Reeve, not then the Edinburgh editor, but only 
the Privy Council Registrar, and Dilke himself, whose 
critical essays and successful management of the 
AthencBum had combined to confirm him in the rare 
reputation already described. Dilke and Reeve walked 
home together. " I foresee," said Reeve, " your know- 
ledge will some day be invoked to remedy the mischief 
done by Dickens's genius to this new paper." Dilke 
not only made the Daily News ; he established for it 
a tradition of full and early information, unbroken loyalty 
to which has been the secret of its success. Proprietors, 
editors, managers, changed. The lines laid down by 
Dilke were never departed from. The tact and spirit of 
his administration transmitted themselves to his successors 
till, in the middle of the last century, the paper was 
owned by a group of men so strangely assorted with 
each other, forming such a heterogeneous group as, 
to mention a few representative names, Mr. Henry 
Oppenheim the financier, the cheeriest and kindest of 
Mayfair hosts, Mr. Samuel Morley, the evangelical phil- 
anthropist, and Mr. Henry Labouchere, both before and 
after he had become editor and proprietor of Truth. 
Those were the days of Frank Harrison Hill's editorship 
and of Sir J. R. Robinson's management. Between the 
two men that, at different dates, made the Daily News & 
commercial success, Charles Dilke and J. R. Robinson, a 
personal link appears in the " she -Radical," in flaying 
whom the Rigby of Disraeli's novel had admittedly no 
superiors. This was Harriet Martineau, during the fifties, 
the writer of an' almost daily article for the paper while 
living at the Knoll, Ambleside. To a later generation 
belonged the accomplished and happily still surviving 
writer Justin McCarthy, who, by his political articles 
and even more by his personal estimates of celebrities, 
contributed, in as conspicuous degree as Miss Martineau 
herself, to form the Daily News style. Most of this 
happeried under the editorship of Thomas Walker^ a 
blameless, rather colourless journalist, justly rewarded 
for his Liberal loyalty by the editorship of the London 
Gazette, and of the caustic political philosopher, Frank 
Harrison Hill, the editor during most of Robinson's time. 
Robinson's first great managerial achievement came in 
the early seventies. Archibald Forbes, wishing to write 



MAKERS OF THE PENNY PRESS 215 

about the Franco -Prussian War, but turned away from 
the Morning Advertiser, transferred himself to the Daily 
News office, where Robinson's quick eye for a good man 
at once caused a bargain to be struck. A week or two 
later began, from the headquarters of the Franco -Prussian 
campaign, the most famous war correspondence published 
in any newspaper since W. H. Russell's letters from the 
Crimea. After Miss Martineau, the most earnest of the 
Daily News workers for Liberalism was P. W. Clayden, 
who lived into the new era of his paper. That was to 
be adorned by Sir H. W. Lucy ; he revived in the Daily 
News the parliamentary sketches originated, as has been 
seen on an earlier page, by Thomas Barnes in the 
Examiner, and continued elsewhere by W. White and E. 
M. Whitty.' To this later dispensation have belonged also 
the freshness and fun imparted by the brilliant Oxford 
band, including Mr. Herbert Paul, Mr. G. W. E. Russell, 
and led by Mr. Andrew Lang, who first revealed himself 
to the Daily News readers as master of a humour and 
scholarship blended with such delicate skill and in such 
nice proportions that the ingredients always seem really 
as new as the mixture itself is enjoyable. 

' ' Most can raise the flowers now, 
For all have got the seed." 

In other cases, perhaps, than those already mentioned, it 
may be that the Daily News men were the first to 
provide the seed of the journalistic flowers now of 
ubiquitous luxuriance. 

' The collections of White's and Whitty's parliamentary impressions, pub- 
lished by Mr. Fisher Unwin in 1898 and in 1906 respectively, take the average 
reader behind the scenes at St. Stephen's and at Downing Street more effectively, 
and at the same time more entertainingly, than has been done by any book 
covering the same period, the Greville diaries not excepted. 



CHAPTER IX 

THE TEACHING MINISTERS OF THE PRESS 

Educational forces in journalism — The great quarterlies and their editors — 
William Gifford's remarkable career — The weekly newspaper — E. F. S. 
Pigott — Publication of the Leader, a forerunner of the Saturday Review — The 
Leader writers— E. M. Whitty — Vizetelly and the Observer— Aa unheard-of 
feat — A presumptuous journalist crushed — Birth of the illustrated press — 
Among the Bohemians — Robert Brough and James Hannay — The Illustrated 
London News — Herbert Ingram's work — The close of the Chronicle and 
birth of the Saturday Review — ^John Douglas Cook — A fiery editor — The 
Saturday reviewers — Lord Salisbury among the journalists — The men 
who followed Cook — The Saturdays rivals — The Examiner under Fon- 
blanque and others — The Spectator — Its policy, past and present. 

The foundation of the penny press by the men whose 
careers have been already traced occupied nearly thirty 
years, from 1855 to 1882, of the Victorian Age. It had 
not begun when the organisation and expression, else- 
where than in newspapers, of the best thought on political 
or literary subjects generated a force that became of 
much service to newspaper development on its literary 
side. A fair working definition of a journalist would be 
a man who seeks to influence public opinion in a given 
direction by periodical writings published at short 
intervals. The instrument chiefly employed for that 
purpose is the leading article ; the- successors of the 
pamphleteers, who now manufactured that newspaper 
commodity, were to find new teachers of their art in the 
elaborate compositions issuing from different companies 
of literary workers famous in the first decade of the nine- 
teenth century. The earliest among the great leaders of 
two rival bands were Francis Jeffrey and William Gifford. 
In the eighteenth century, with Bolingbroke, Pulteney 
and Swift for its writers or managers, the Tory 
opposition to Walpole, as has been seen above, was kept 

216 



TEACHERS OF THE PRESS 217 

alive by the press when languishing, exhausted, or practi- 
cally dead in Parliament. A hundred years later a like 
service with similar literary instruments was, chiefly at 
Sydney Smith's instance,' arranged for the Whigs by a 
company of clever young men, mostly in or training for 
the law, assembled in Francis Jeffrey's Edinburgh resi- 
dence on the third floor of i8, Buccleuch Place. The 
projected and promptly started periodical was to appear 
once in every three months. Sydney Smith, as the first 
editor, showed his writers how they might co-operate to 
make first-rate party capital in print out of the richi 
opportunities offered them by the Tory tacticians of the 
day. Such were Perceval's and Canning's " no pur- 
render " attitude as regards parliamentary and social 
reform, and their unscrupulous readiness to screen or 
justify their nominees in the perpetration of gross 
blunders or crying scandals. By this time Fox had been 
in his grave four years ; but the penetrating power even 
of his oratory was surpassed by the popular effect visibly 
resulting from the terse and cutting analysis of the early 
Edinburgh reviewers. Some of these — for instance. 
Brougham — had fleshed their pens in newspaipers ; all of 
them in the Edinburgh Review showed a spirit and a 
brilliancy they had never approached in the daily print. 
Between 1797 and the date now reached (1802) there 
was witnessed an efflorescence of generally insignificant 
periodicals. These, for the most part, exemplified by 
Godwin and Priestley in the Monthly Magazine, were Whig 
or democratic organs, deriving alike their inspiration 
and success from the enthusiasm excited among English 
Radicals by the earlier stages of the French Revolution. 
On the other side, William Pitt's second in command and 
successor, George Canning, constantly emphasised to his 
chief the importance of securing effective representation 
in the newspapers, and in 1797 had himself shown what 
might be done in that direction by starting the Anti- 
Jacobin. Canning's views on this subject became known 
in the year after Pitt's death to Byron's " Anak of 
publishers," the second John Murray. Curiously enough, 

■ Sydney Smith's account is : "I remained in Edinburgh long enough to edit 
the first number, and afterwards gave it over to the stronger hands of Jeffrey and 
Brougham " (preface to one volume edition of Smith's Works, Longmans, 1858). 



218 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

as it may now seem, Murray's name had in that year 
(1807) appeared on the title-page of the Edinburgh; 
for at this date the connection of the coming Quarterly's 
proprietor with the publishers Constable brought him 
into touch with the Edinburgh reviewers ; these then 
included Sir Walter Scott. A difference between the 
Constables and their earliest representatives, the Long- 
mans, had caused the Edinburgh house, from which the 
Edinburgh Review originally issued, to transfer their 
London agency to Murray. The second of the Albemarle 
Street dynasty had, therefore, naturally heard of the quarrel 
with Jeffrey which was about to withdraw Scott from 
the Edinburgh reviewers. This explains Murray's letter 
to Canning (September 25, 1807) proposing in effect a 
Tory rival to the Whig Edinburgh ; that Review's con- 
duct, wrote the Tory publisher to the Tory Foreign 
Secretary, was marked by unquestionable talent. Its 
principles, however, were so radically bad that their 
diffusion could not but produce much mischief unless 
their dangerous tendency were counteracted by some 
equally popular means. At the same time, without the 
authority or encouragement of the party leaders, Murray 
could do nothing. That Canning wished to give the 
publisher support and help is clear from a visit paid 
by his cousin, Stratford Canning, to Albemarle Street 
early in 1808. Upon that occasion, indeed, all the pre- 
liminaries were settled ; the date of publication was 
fixed, and an editor was found in one who, born in a 
workhouse, serving as a boy on a Brixham fishing smack, 
apprenticed next to an Ashburton cobbler, had now 
become the most famous satirist and the first literary 
critic of the time. In this amazing triumph over cir- 
cumstance he had received the indispensable help of a 
Devonshire doctor, William Cookesley ; to him Gifford 
owed the Bible clerkship at Exeter College which brought 
an Oxford training within his reach. The benefactor 
preserved a family memorial of his kindly action by giving 
his son his prot6g6's name, and Disraeli's particular 
friend among the Eton masters ' of the last century was 

' From Mr. Cookesley himself the present writer heard that Disraeli, when 
consulting him about the Eton scenes in Cotiingsby, was advised to see the boys 
at breakfast. After the accident on the Thames, which narrowly escaped being 

fatal, C y is said by Henry Sydney to have "behaved like a 

trump " ; in the earliest edition the name Cookesley was printed at full length. 



TEACHERS OF THE PRESS 219 

known as William Gifford Cookesley because of his 
father's share in making the first editor of the Quarterly 
Review. 

The most valuable part, for himself and his literary 
posterity, of Gifford's education came not from college 
or school, but from the acquaintance with society and the 
world acquired while travelling tutor to Lord Grosvenor's 
son. The introduction given him by such a patron, and 
the authorship of the Baviad and Moeviad, some ten years 
before concluding the engagement with Murray had made 
him one of the London season's literary lions. The 
satires prompting Byron's exclamation, " Why slumbers 
Gifford?" had, indeed, already, in 1797, secured him the 
notice of Canning and the editorship of the Anti- Jacobin. 
Some of the articles that created the greatest stir in the 
early Quarterlies were written almost entirely by Gifford 
himself. Others were dictated by Canning during the 
intervals of his absence from office and taken down by 
Ellis. The most effective of these compositions often 
did not much exceed in length the daily " leader," as 
it was to be known a few years later. For closeness of 
argument and variety of illustration daily journalists soon 
found themselves taking these pieces for models. The 
abundance of opportune information upon subjects of 
the day condensed by the Edinburgh or Quarterly 
reviewer into a few pages told the newspaper writer 
more than he could learn from carefully following the 
parliamentary debates, as well as saved him precious time 
in himting up authorities and references not easily access- 
ible. In 1824 another quarterly, the Westminster, was 
to accumulate the stores of learning and philosophy which 
were carefully assimilated by the writers who, after 1856, 
successively under Samuel Lucas, Justin McCarthy and 
Leicester Buckingham,' formed the staff of the Man^ 
Chester School organ, the morning and evening Star. 

' Leicester Buckingham, Silk Buckingham's son, remained during most of the 
sixties a conspicuously handsome presence among Fleet Street celebrities ; Bucking- 
ham, Thomas Hamber, mentioned some little way back, two Houldsworths, each, 
I think, connected with the Times, and Burton Blyth of the Standard, were 
famous beyond their fellows for the pointed brightness of their talk and their 
encyclopaedic knowledge in the assemblies of the Arundel Club, Salisbury Street, 
Strand, then a favourite journalistic haunt. The short connection of Lord Morley 
of Blackburn with the Star, long after Buckingham's day, did not identify him 
with any fresh or marked development of the paper. 



220 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

The organising and educating services of the great 
reviews to the press were supplemented in the nineteenth 
century's second half by other influences for good, 
individual or collective. Of these, one among the very, 
earliest, if the least familiar and not the least unjustly 
forgotten, was E. F. S. Pigott. For several years before his 
death, Pigott was known, if at all, as the dramatic licenser. 
Previously to his appointment to a place in the Loird 
Chamberlain's office, he had made his mark as a political 
and general writer in the Daily News, where, together 
with P. W. Clayden and Justin McCarthy, he sometimes 
" took charge " during the editor's absence, and acquired 
such influence on that paper that subsequently he con- 
trived to clear the office of an editor whose appointment 
he did not approve. The Coleridge and Wordsworth 
associations of his Brockley home in the Clevedon neigh- 
bourhood gave him as a boy a bias towards a literary, 
career. Well-connected, well-to-do, he had no sooner 
come up to London than he found himself in the thick 
of all that was most interesting and animated in its social 
or intellectual life. At Milner Gibson's well-known comer 
house in Brook Street, the chief managers as well as 
supporters of the then rising penny press were the most 
regular guests. Mrs. Milner Gibson's evening parties 
were looked upon as the chief link connecting the cheap 
newspaper with the world of fashion or even of 
respectability. Milner Gibson himself had taken the lead 
in the 1861 paper duty repeal, and being a newspaper 
reader almost as omnivorous as Shirley Brooks himself, 
did much towards dispelling the wide and deep prejudice 
against the low-priced prints whose purchasers often 
seemed half ashamed of them. At the Milner Gibsons', 
Pigott soon became more at home than anywhere else. 
Nominally by profession a barrister, he had no domestic 
or business ties to London. Much of his time was soon 
passed in Paris under the Orleanist monarchy, where 
literally, like the Vavasour of Tancred, he " dined with 
Louis Philippe and gave dinners to Louis Blanc." Going 
on to Florence, he found many old Eton or Balliol as well 
as London friends. Amongst these, during one of his 
many Florence visits, the most interesting was Charles 
Lever, the most venerable and illustrious was Walter 
Savage Landor ; with Landor, however, he chiefly became 



TEACHERS OF THE PRESS 221 

intimate during his stay in the capital of Pigott's native 
county, Bath. Lever he saw also at many other points 
of his British or continental wanderings, and in the 
palmiest of the novelist's most cosmopolitan days. Close 
study of Galignani's Messenger during a week of inces- 
sant rain at Pallanza on Maggiore gave Pigott his first 
idea of a weekly journal which, unlike Galignani, should 
give no special reports of particular events, but which 
should Condense into its articles and paragraphs as much 
of original information as of comment. When he 
returned to London he brought with him the first pf 
Walter Savage Landor's denunciations of United States 
slavery for the Daily News, and a tolerably com|plete 
scheme for a new weekly, which he intended to start him- 
self, and almost entirely with his own capital. In every 
capital and at every Court between Madrid and Moscow 
Pigott had well placed friends with whom he had 
arranged to act as his correspondents. The new venture 
was to be called the Leader. An entire novelty in all 
its departments, it lived long enough to entitle its pro- 
jector to the distinction of having been among the first to 
create the taste which was more fully gratified a little 
later by the Saturday Review. The best literary talent 
of the time, serious or light, was represented in Pigott's 
columns. Its philosophy, social or political, was done 
by Herbert Spencer. The physical science articles, which 
were one of its chief features, came from G. H. Lewes, 
who, also in Pigott's paper, showed himself. Miss 
Martineau not excepted, the best writer of short 
biographies then existing. It was a Leader article by 
Lewes that contained the germ of a work admitted by the 
most critical compatriots of its subject to be a success. 
This was the Life of Goethe ; for some hints in writing 
it he was indebted to Herbert Spencer and to the future 
author, then Marian Evans, of Adam Bede.. Other hints 
equally useful came from Pigott. The theatrical interest 
and knowledge of these two men, and the joint articles on 
dramatic matters which were their outcome, really marked 
an epoch in the mutual relations of journalism and the 
stage. At Oxford Pigott's taste had been for scholar- 
ship rather than philosophy. As editor of the Leader, 
he suggested certain literary notices which would give 
Lewes a chance of demolishing, in his slap-dash manner, 



222 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

the processes and conclusions of a priori reasoning from 
Plato to Cudworth, and of showing that, after the juvenile 
attraction of metaphysics had worn oH, no sane man 
could rest except in the haven of positivism. The laurels 
won by Pigott's county friend and neighbour in the West 
of England with Eothen were, during the fifties, still 
fresh. In some very irregularly delivered, pithy, short, 
and most happy pieces, A. Wi. Kinglake rehearsed for 
the Leader's benefit some of the literary effects he was 
afterwards to produce in his Invasion of the Crimea. 
Amongst these was the touch in the account of Napoleon 
III., attributing his studied taciturnity to long association 
in England with the " grave, silent men of the turf." 

Pigott also made the Leader an opportunity for intro- 
ducing to the London public a Liverpool writer of much 
freshness and ability, Edward M. Whitty, whose bright 
extemporaneous flippancies lightened, at the Leader office, 
the conversation which, if habitually irreverent in its tone, 
was often turned by Lewes, Spencer, and Pigott to lofty 
themes. Of London birth but Irish extraction, he began 
on the provincial press. Coming to London when only 
nineteen, he wrote from 1846 to 1849 ^^ Times parlia- 
mentary summary, and first made his mark in the Leader 
with some pen-and-ink portraits. The Governing Classes 
of Great Britain, in a vein not unlike that afterwards to 
be hit on by Grenville Murray. Whitty's novel. Friends 
of Bohemia, though it once passed for a clever protest 
against the literary dandyism of Bulwer-Lytton, leaves a 
disagreeable taste in the mouth, and is deformed by the 
introduction of a character designed, as the family 
believed, for a caricature of the author's father. The 
end of this really gifted but undisciplined man was the 
more sad because unhappily typical of the clouds amid 
which so many bright intellects then employed on the 
press went down. Enfeebled by the physical results of 
his Bohemian courses, he received from his friends a 
passage on a temperance ship to Melbourne, where 
employment might have awaited him on the Argus. The 
vessel's doctor, however, had a large supply of spirits 
on board. To these Whitty obtained access. This was 
his last break out, for shortly after landing he died. 
Whitty, however, had lived long enough to enrich Pigott's 
paper with not only the personal sketches already 



TEACHERS OF THE PRESS 223 

mentioned, but with a series of articles that broke soil 
then entirely new, and that in one passage invented 
the phrase for which, long afterwards, a much more 
famous writer than himself was to obtain credit as 
original. " 'Tis the gondola of London," in Disraeli's 
last novel but one, exclaims Lothair, as he hails a hansom. 
Poor Whitty, however, had struck out the epigrammatic 
simile decades before it appeared in the pages of a 
Prime Minister's romance. For the rest, the pieces of 
literary impressionism that to-day form a feature in every 
journal were first known as Whitty's specialities in the 
Leader. His peculiar gift in this direction, with a more 
prudently ordered life, might then have secured him not 
only fame but fortune ; for Delane and the Walters, 
appreciating his really original gifts, only asked that 
he should " live cleanly and leave sack " as a condition 
of regular and well-paid employment in Printing House 
Square. Whitty's observations of Parliament men have 
been collected and recently published. Those who look 
into the volume will be struck by a remarkably accurate 
prognostication of the exact position, national and parlia- 
mentary, long afterwards to be filled by Gladstone . Whitty 
also was the first newspaper man to " spot " RoberC 
Lowe, when entirely unknown to the outside public, and 
not, perhaps, universally appreciated at the true value of 
his intellect in the House of Commons. 

The particular department of the jjeriodical press with 
which Whitty's name connects itself was, shortly after 
his time, to attract the enterprise and energy of men not 
less essential to the newspaper system as it exists to-day 
than any of those whose acquaintance has been already 
made. Till late in the nineteenth century, the Strand and 
Fleet Street knew no figure more commanding or familiar 
than the tall presence of Henry Vizetelly, always thin and 
spare, with something of gauntness a°bout him that 
suggested the Knight of La Mancha, but vigorous and 
active in old age, with nerves of steel and muscles of 
iron, and thus presenting a picturesque contrast to his 
brother Frank, whose stout, square figure had in it a 
suggestion of Dirk Hatteraick as well, perhaps, as of 
Falstaff. He had been with the blockade runners in the 
American Civil War, acted as special correspondent in all 
parts ,of the world, and was said only to have died 



224 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

during the operations against the Mahdi in the Soudan. 
The Bill for the repeal of the newspaper stamp was still 
going through Parliament when Henry Vizetelly under- 
took the editorship of a paper that brought out, all at 
the same time, several young men of characters and 
capacities very different, but each destined in after years 
to stamp his personality, in a fashion not yet eflfaced, 
upon the journalistic system. Seventeen years before 
that, while on the staff of the Observer, Vizetelly had 
performed an unheard-of feat. At Queen Victoria's 
coronation in 1838 he had been the first newspaper man 
to obtain, in any public ceremony, a press pass from 
the police. As he approached the Abbey, he encountered 
ladies with nodding plumes on their heads, dainty white 
satin shoes on their feet, embarrassed by long trains 
gathered up in their arms. These, together with the 
gentlemen in Court and full dress, had foreseen the hope- 
lessness of reaching their destination in carriages, and 
were calmly proceeding thither on foot, laughing at the 
curiosity they excited in the crowd . Henry Vizetelly had 
no such misgivings. Onward he strode to Westminster, 
saw every detail of the ceremony, atid wrote the best 
account of it in the press. Here he was more fortunate 
than his chief ; for the editor of the paper had asked 
the Duke of Wellington's permission to view the pro- 
cession from the roof of Apsley House. In reply the 
Duke acknowledged a letter signed " Vincent Dowling," 
added he had no knowledge of anyone by that name, nor 
interest in the person possessing it, nor in the Observer 
newspaper ; that Apsley House was not a public building 
but the Duke's private residence, to whose roof he would 
certainly admit no strap ger of any kind. Apt with his 
pencil as well as pen, Vizetelly had made maay sketches. 
These grew into a panoramic drawing of about twelve 
feet in length. The artist afterwards sold the pictures 
of which it consisted to an engraver named Tyas at the 
rate of from half a crown to half a guinea per foot. 
For at least a generation after this Henry Vizetelly found 
abundant exercise for his energy and inventiveness in 
newspaper enterprise, as for his native amiability in doing 
newspaper-writers a good turn. The earliest apd most 
productive of these ventures was the most spirited 
opposition put forth to the Illustrated London News. 



TEACHERS OF THE PRESS 225 

In 1855 the Illustrated Times, owned by David Bogue 
and edited by Henry Vizetelly, became a school for 
several journalists destined to later distinction in various 
departments. It sowed in the jourinalistic soil of the 
middle Victorian Age the seed of ideas that were to: 
become powerful growths a little later and whose fruit 
is still being gathered in the twentieth century's present 
years. Vizetelly's writers, to take them alphabetically, 
included Robert Brough, Edward Draper, Henry Suther- 
land Edwards, James Hannay, Augustus Mayhew and 
Edmund Yates. Some of these will be mentioned 
separately later in connection with the more important 
undertakings of their maturer years. Edwards united 
a light literary touch with a turn for neat phrases, as 
when, d propos of the growing popularity of Paris, he 
said : " The Lutetia of the Ancients has become the 
Laetitia of the Moderns," and humorously doubted 
whether he ought not to have enjtitled a novel he had 
written. The Three Louisas, Unlimited Loo.. This was 
the little trick of words which, in earlier life, had caused 
Albert Smith to ask about him : " Who is that ^oung 
man making thin remarks through a ragged moustache ? " 
Subsequently, as occasional critic of music and opera 
under John Davison for the Times, on the Pall Mall 
Gazette, and last of all on the Standard during the 
latest performances of Eleonora Duse, he did much 
towards raising the standard of musical taste, as, indeed, 
has been publicly declared by George Grove, the 
organiser of the Crystal Palace concerts, in his History 
of Europe. 

When they first beg^n to work together these men 
formed a kind of family party. The region in which 
they laboured and lived belonged to the vanished province 
of Bohemia, wherein is laid the scene of so many 
chapters of Thackeray's Pendennis. In modern times 
Bohemia, from a locality, has become a phase, an aspect 
of social existence not confined to any single class, equally 
shared in by the leaders of fashionable smartness and 
their highly respectable suburban or provincial imitators. 
The Bohemia of the days now looked back upon was 
peopled by persons who never moved or thought of 
moving outside its limits. It kept late hours ; its industry 
was by fits and starts ; there were times when, for a 

15 



226 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

week or even month or two together, it lived, as it liked 
to put it, at the rate of several thousands a year. It 
was rich in characters that were then at least as original 
as, in the present retrospect, they are amusing. The 
Bohemianism that was a reproach of so many periodical 
pens during several decades of the Victorian Age resulted 
from the newspaper -worker's irregtilarly-paid and alto- 
gether insufficient wage. Hence a chronic condition of 
impecuniosity and of social insurrection. There did not 
exist the means for cultivating the graces and refine- 
ments of life. Consequently many vigorous but deeply- 
wounded minds were provoked into an affectation of 
despising them. 

Most conspicuously was this the case with Robert 
Brough. Of a Liverpool family, he had, while yet a 
boy, awoke the echoes and given plenty of talk to the 
scandal-mongers of his native city with the cracking 
of his witty whip. He lampooned alike himself and his 
fellow -citizens in a novel called Maston Lynch. In 
the few numbers of the Liverpool Lion that appeared, 
he showed exactly and completely what he could do. 
Bright wit, strange fancy, alternately wierd and droll, 
went together with the real journalist's quickness in 
fastening on the topics of the time, and presenting them 
in the most effective dress. Coming up to London, he 
had his best time while co-operating with Edmund Yates, 
under Vizetelly, in preparing some burlesques, both prose 
and verse, containing among other things the earliest 
published parody of Edgar Poe's Raven. Poverty, ill- 
health, and an inability to resist temptation distorted 
and jaimdiced his views of life. Intellectually much 
above the average of his class, Robert Brough in other 
respects was a true representative of the Bohemianism 
which, during two -thirds of the nineteenth century, was 
as plentiful in Fleet Street as its taverns. With better 
brains, he united deeper feelings than belonged to all 
his brethren of the pen, those brethren of whom he 
used bitterly to say : " Yes, all of us regtilar Cains 
and Abels." Conscience had been silenced, ;remorse 
took its place, and, with Brough, expressed itself in a 
rancorous hatred, first of all the successful and well- 
to-do, secondly of every class and every individual born 
to those gifts of fortune, whether rank or wealth, which, 



TEACHERS OF THE PRESS 227 

except by sight, he never knew himself. Not that, with 
some such pen-name as Gracchus or Publicola, he ever 
bespattered, as may have been done by some other Alsa- 
tians, the governing classes with the cheap and coarse 
abuse then current in portions of the Sunday press. 
The vindicative hatred of rank and wealth, that formed 
the collective sentiment of the coteries whose idol and 
oracle he was, found expression in his witty and fierce 
talk, or condensed itself into lines • that, first appearing 
in the IllusiratM Times, were on many lips in the old 
Savage Club more than a generation before it could 
have been dreamt that an institution of that name would 
have had for its guests premiers, proconsuls, judges, 
generals, even prelates and keepers of the Sovereign's 
conscience that were to be. The animating cause of 
Brough's demagogic outbursts was his resentment iat 
the assumption of superior culture and authority by a 
new school of writers, who, as he thought, ofifensively 
flaunted in the press those academic attainments which, 
as he put it, " enabled them to turn the Ode to Thalia - 
chus into halting English verse, or to imbue with a few 
classical allusions their bitter political essay or flippant 
literary article " — in other words the Saturday reviewers, 
concerning whom what is necessary will presently be 
said. 

Even, however, among Brough's boon companions and 
literary fellow -labourers were men who had very dif- 
ferent views of writing and thinking. Some of these 
glorified the principle of birth and of hereditary fortune 
or greatness as hotly as Brough ever assailed it ; and 
at least one made his first literary mark with a novel 
redolent of the social civilisation which Brough despised. 
Before Brough had run his course, his social intimate 
but out-and-out political antagonist, James Hannay, had 
founded a small literary apostleship of " blood and 

' " There is a word in the English tongue. 

Where I'd rather it were not : 
For shame and lies from it have sprung, 

And heart-bums fierce and hot. 
'Tis a curse to the land, deny it who can, 
That self-same boast 'I'm a gentleman,' " etc. 

— From Songs of the Governing Classes, by Robert B. Brough (Vizetelly & Co. 
Henrietta St., Covent Garden, 1890). 



228 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

culture." The novelist was Edmund Yates, to wh'ose 
newspaper work I must revert, and of whose clever stories 
the earliest, Broken to Harness, appeared in 1854. The 
companionship to which Brough belonged was rich in 
character to an extent that can scarcely be conceived 
in these more decorous days. Hannay was the English 
Pierre Loti of an earlier day, and had not a little of the 
French writer's grace and skill in reproducing with pen 
and ink the colour and the scenery which, as a sailor, 
he had observed. Hannay, moreover, combined with a 
style at once graceful and terse wide historical as well 
as literary scholarship, and a fresh, breezy humour which 
gave all his work a distinction of its own and a ready 
market. To anticipate for a moment hijS later literary 
course, there may be recalled here the late Frederick 
Greenwood's remark to the present writer, that, in the 
Pall Mall Gazette, Hannay's articles were those of whose 
immediate effect on the public he seldom failed to find 
some definite proof. Frederick Greenwood himself, 
indeed, though never a sojourner in it, as one of Vize- 
telly's staff, had seen something of the Bohemia which, 
if it could afterwards boast him for its greatest journalist, 
might reasonably be proud of Hannay as one who pro- 
duced the two best nautical novels since Captain Marryat, 
Singleton Fontenoy and Eustace Conyers. 

With Vizetelly's paper there is connected a name more 
famous than any of those already given as a newspaper 
maker. Herbert Ingram, founder of the Illustrated 
London News, made that venture a world-wide success 
not from any special genius for newspaper management, 
but because, better perhaps than any man then living, he 
saw the popular opening for a journal of essentially 
domestic interest. To bring contemporary events home 
to English households, so that they might be realised 
exactly as they happened, without the need of Jong 
descriptions, was his object in starting the Illustrated 
London News. He took no counsel with literary or 
artistic experts. His own experience of daily existence 
in all its aspects amongi the middle-class families of 
the kingdom showed him what was wanted. His 
business sagacity proved a safeguard against every loss. 
He forestalled, too, the latter-day policy of the news- 
paper proprietor in buying up rivals, actual or possible. 



TEACHERS OF THE PRESS 229 

Therefore he purchased the Illustrated Times, incor- 
porating its happiest features into his own scheme. 
Vizetelly, however, survived his paper for many years. 
In the second half of the Victorian Age he still proved 
himself an active newspaper runner and impresario. 
During the sixties, Mrs. Lynn Linton's title in a Saturday 
article. The Girl of the Period, became the same sort 
of catchword as did George du Maurier's Trilby in the 
next generation. Vizetelly was not slow to make 
newspaper capital out of the idea. The Girl of the 
Period, published at an office he had taken in 
Catherine Street, at once suggested a journal anticipat- 
ing by a couple of decades the society prints of a 
later day. 

That day was lived into by several if not most of the 
cleverest and strongest men in Vizetelly 's company. 
These in their turn left behind them still extant memorials 
equally of their own ability and the serviceableness of 
Vizetelly 's training. Nothing need be added to what has 
been already said about G. A. Sala and the part played 
by him in the evolution of the " leader." Frederick 
Greenwood occasionally did some of the editorial super- 
vision for Vizetelly 's paper ; he afterwards became suc- 
cessively editor and founder of the Pall Mall and the 
5^. James's Gazette. Among his other pupils Vizetelly. 
himself saw Sutherland Edwards the first editor of the 
Graphic, and Edmund Yates the creator of an entirely new 
journalistic departure in the World. The Bohemia itself, 
which has to-day no more of a local existence than Atlantis 
or Utopia, had, therefore, in real life, as well as in 
ThackeiSiy's Peridennis, not only its Bludyers, Finucanes, 
and Costigans, but its Warringtons and the vigorous 
and capable writers for the press who owed much of 
their subsequent success to the Warringtons of real life 
that, happily for the journalistic craft, were a good 
deal more plentiful than in the novel. With those good 
personal influences, the advance of trade and the multi- 
plication of events and interests co-operated by introducing 
demands which the pamphleteer, even had he not gone 
out, could never have satisfied, and the regular supply of 
which was to move up the Grub Street wage, to send 
to the rear the now-discredited survivor of the eighteenth- 
century bookseller's hack, and at the same time 



230 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

to banish the rider who had sweated that hack to 
death. 

Among other beneficent agencies following the 
liberality and enterprise of the newspaper proprietors 
already mentioned, a foremost place must be given to 
the most ancient of morning journals in the last 
chapter of its history, and the newest of weekly 
papers in its opening phases. The Morning Chronicle 
and the Saturday Review in ppint of time over- 
lapped each other. But though the venerable daily 
sheet had a nominal existence after its youngest 
progeny had sprung into birth, the Saturday Review, 
in 1855 not only grew out of bu;t absorbed th6 
brains and the capital which had re-created, as a Peelite 
organ, the Morning Chronicle in 1848. In or about 
i860 Peel's political heirs and trustees. Lord Cardwell 
and Lord Stanhope, were relieved of the Morning 
Chronicle; it was bought up by Mr. J. M. Levy, 
to remove a possible rival to the Daily Telegraph. If, 
under the Peelite dispensation, the service rendered by 
the Chronicle to its party fell short of the money paid, 
the conduct of the paper at this time appreciably raised 
the standard of political writing throughout the press. 
The period then opening saw leader-writers more liberally 
supplied than they had ever yet been with early news 
to embody in their articles. They then also had not to 
write under the same pressure as, a few years later, 
continental wires in the editorial room, and mechanical 
improvements in the printing process too numerous 
and complex for mention, placed them under the com- 
pulsion of doing. Not, indeed, that work done under 
hot pressure ought, or as a fact is likely, to be less 
thoughtful than that produced at leisure, for the properly 
endowed and equipped journalist has beforehand for 
weeks, months, perhaps years, meditated on what he 
commits to paper in a few minutes. He thus finds in 
the very severity of the conditions under which he puts 
his paragraphs together an inspiring, a methodising, 
and a concentrating force at once stimulating and 
quickening him for his work. 

To pass to the men of the Chronicle and the 
Saturday Review. During the tenth year of the 
Victorian Age his powerful friends of the Gordon family 



TEACHERS OF THE PRESS 231 

furnished with an introduction to John Murray of Albe- 
marle Street a raw youth, John Douglas Cook, who had 
been through Aberdeen University, and who was settling 
in London to try whether he could live by his pen. 
The publisher tested his capacity by at once putting 
some work in his hands. It was performed so well 
as to justify an introduction to Delane. The young 
Aberdonian began with Printing' House Square as a 
parliamentary reporter ; his talent soon secured his 
advance to the dignity of leader-writer. Fresh pro- 
motion awaited him; for just then (1848), as it has 
been already necessary to relate, the future Lord Card- 
well, with whom was now Mr. Beresford Hope, had 
negotiated the purchase of the Morning Chronicle as 
a means of securing adequate representation in the daily 
press for the new and enlightened Conservatism that, 
pitted against the old exclusive Whigs, often acted in 
concert with the Tories. Murray's good word, and his 
own cleverness during his employment on the Times, 
caused Cardwell and Beresford Hope to engage the 
young Aberdonian as editor. On the Chronicle the 
cleverest pens of the time were engaged ; even these 
could hot revive it. Recognising the inevitable, its pro- 
prietors arranged to hand it over to the purchaser already 
mentioned. 

When a little later the paper disappeared, the writers 
for it remained. Some timie before this, however, 
the Chronicle being now visibly in extremis, its Peelite 
proprietors had taken practical steps to prevent 
the literary talent at their disposal from being turned 
adrift. The chief part in the Peelite purchase of the 
Morning Chronicle had been taken by Cardwell. The 
really responsible work of starting the Saturday Review 
in 1855 was borne by Beresford Hope alone. Offices 
for the new weekly were taken in Southampton Street, 
Strand. It was, however, understood from the first that 
these premises would be devoted only to the business 
of publishing. The editor would live in the Albany, 
would there see his contributors every Tuesday, and 
theiie entertain at his dinner -table the most powerful 
supporters of the new venture, with occasionally some of 
its most favoured or effective writers. The occupant 
of these chambers, more or less the social intimate as 



232 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

well as the occasional host at his LucuUus-like dinners 
of Lord Lincoln and the Duke of Argyll, was a stout, 
square, bull -necked, red-faced, apoplectic -looking man in 
the prime of life, with the taste of an epicure, the 
literary discrimination of an Aristarchus,' and the temper 
of a fury. At the old Chronicle ofHce, so long' as it was 
in existence, there lingered a tradition of his having 
placed an offending printer on the fire. " A Napoleon 
among editors indeed, but, mercy on us I what a temper. 
Has he not sworn at me ? Yes, and actually hit me, if he 
thought I had not carried out properly any of his com- 
mands in the smallest detail." Such was the plaintive 
reminiscence confided to the present writer by Mrs. 
Lynn Linton, ^who had worked for Cook on the Chronicle 
long before she became one of his most effective recruits 
on the Satufday Review. Those who would know more 
about him may find it in the personal allusions scattered 
through the occasional writings pf its contributors, 
especially Lord Morley of Blackburn, Sir H. S. Maine, 
and Sir James Stephen. Maine's introduction of his 
then pupil at Trinity Hall added Vernon Harcourt to 
these, the chief of the earliest Saturday reviewers. Not 
one of the men now mentioned but was advanced in 
the course that led him eventually to fame and power 
by the fresh element that Beresford Hope and Douglas 
Cook infused into the periodical literature of their time. 
On its religious side, Beresford Hope had gone with 
Disraeli's Young England. The Saturday Review, there- 
fore, so far as it did not criticise all religion impartially, 
was from the first High Anglican in its theological 
leanings. " Parson Scott," Beresford Hope's special 
nominee, the Rev. William Scott, of Hoxton, had, to- 
gether with T. B. Mozley, edited the quarterly organ of 
the Oxford Puseyites, had proved himself, whether as 
writer or a critic, an accurate, complete scholar, and 
sure-footed as a mule. Like G. S. Venables, Harcourt, 
and Maine in the early days, he seldom wrote less 
than two articles a week, besides, throug'hout most of 
Cook's time, acting' as assistant editor, to whom all 

' It was Sir William Harcourt, one of Cook's earliest writers, who applied to 
his chief a line from Samuel Foote's Liar : " The whole region of belles lettres 
fell under my inspection. There, sirs, like another Aristarch, I dealt out fame 
and damnation at pleasure." 



TEACHERS OF THE PRESS 233 

troublesome writers or would-be writers were promptly 
handed over. Douglas Cook had a little house at 
Tintagel, Cornwall, now belonging to Lady Haversham. 
Here he passed most of his holidays, as well as main- 
tained all the year round as many fishermen as would 
furnish forth his luxurious table in the Albany. These 
aspects of the Saturday's first editor are sketched to the 
life by Walter Thornbury in a novel whose central per- 
sonage, Greatheart, generally identified with Cook him- 
self, got its author into some trouble . The national part he 
was afterwards to play makes, however, the Lord Robert 
Cecil of those days far the most important figure among 
the early Saturday reviewers ; he was equally conspicuous 
among the Standard writers, to whom, under Hambei-, till 
the end of the fifties, he belonged. His deliverances in 
these two journals form a summary of his political creed 
during his later career both in and out of office. Apropos 
of Gladstone's famous i860 Budget, there is the true 
Salisbury and Saturday ring in the criticism of the 
financial proposals based on Cobdenism. " Farewell," 
we read both in the Standard and the Saturday, " to 
the simple City virtues of slow security, safe investments, 
and well-balanced ledgers. Everything is now on the 
grand scale, all-embracing Free Trade, abysses of deficit, 
mountains of income tax, remissions too numerous to 
count. As for the Budget's services to industry, there 
might be those if the duty were only taken off the 
import of raw materials. When, however, the abolitions 
include gloves and other Parisian wares, where is the 
stimulus to industry to be found? Then direct taxation 
is everywhere substituted for indirect. The latter kind 
of impost falls on all classes alike. Only the well-to- 
do classes pay income tax. We have, therefore, now 
begun the descent of the smooth, easy, sloping path of 
popular finance, our progress on which cannot stop short 
of confiscation." On his other particular Subject, 
foreign policy. Lord Robert Cecil hit the popular taste 
as exactly as on finance. The English danger then 
came from the second French Empire. The Saturday 
and the Standard writer reminds his readers that 
Napoleon III. is never so silent as when he means to 
act, and that he fawns up to the last moment before he 
springs. To recall writing like this to-day is merely, 



234 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

to temirid a later generation how deeply and widely this 
one writer influenced the popular feeling of the time, 
and how truly he struck the note which, first taken up 
by practically the whole press, rang itself out also 
in the daily conversations of social and commercial 
life.i 

Cook and his men not only made the Saturday ; they 
stamped it with a personal identity which, throughout 
all subsequent vicissitudes of ownership or conduct, has 
never been effaced. First (1868) came Philip Harwood, 
trained by Cook himself on the Morning Chronicle. ; 
Walter H. Pollock, who had been born into a Saturday 
Review atmosphere and family, followed. In 1894 the 
paper passed from the Beresford Hope proprietorship. 
Its new era was introduced by Mr. Frank Harris ; it is 
now being continued by Mr. Harold Hodge. The men 
forming this succession have differed among themselves 
and from each other as much as was possible in per- 
sonal temper, literary taste, journalistic antecedents, 
intellectual quality and calibre. To each and all of 
them, by the mere force of the Douglas Cook tradition, 
has there descended the almost instinctive knowledge 
of the subjects possessing for the moment the public 
mind, of the treatment best suited to the passing taste 
of the hour, and of the men it would best pay the paper 
to employ. The Saturday's first editor had passed away 
before the intellectual atmosphere of the middle class 
public had felt the quickening influences of Matthew 
Arnold's literary movement against Philistinism. For 
Cook's earlier successors it was reserved to reflect and 
assist that process. Those who subsequently sat in 
his chair had to recognise that the day of leisurely, 
reading was gone. Further, it was for them to show 

' The present writer had it directly from the late Lord Salisbury himself that, 
while his regularly supplied articles for the Standard ceased during the early 
sixties, he had occasionally something to do with this newspaper's leaders after 
that date, and that not till considerably afterwards did he discontinue his active 
connection with the Saturday. Of course, all this time, and indeed till his latest 
years, Lord Salisbury wrote for the Quarterly. Necessarily in his articles there 
some of his journalistic ideas reappear. The conditions of his newspaper-writing 
made his daily and weekly comments on the promoters of a policy he disapproved 
fairer than those to be found in the stately philippics against Conservative 
surrender, Gladstonian finance, arid American democracy on its trial in the 
Quarterly. 



TEACHERS OF THE PRESS 235 

that a journal true to its original programme of supplying 
not news but commentj might so construct its articles 
and arrange its paragraphs as to be an easy coach for 
busy men who did not always keep up with their morn- 
ing paper. For more than half a century no addition 
has been made to the weekly press which, in some por- 
tion of its contents, did not proclaim the parentag*e 
first of the men whom Cook gathered roxuid him, secondly 
of those who were to fill their places after them. Thus 
the memory of occasional work for the Saturday im- 
pelled C. J. Elton and Lawrence Oliphant to give the 
excellent Charles Mackay no. rest till he had started the 
London Review. Mackay objected to the idea of making 
his venture a mere mimic of the Saturday, and introduced 
into it some of the descriptive features with which 
Dickens was attracting fresh readers to Household 
Words. Mackay 's colleagues, however, were only 
interested in t^e paper as a medium for their own writing. 
Oliphant himself wrote in his best vein some short pieces 
that formed the germ of his Piccadilly, which influenced 
all the lighter journalism of the time, and formed an 
inspiring example of style and treatment in a much 
later decade for Mr. W. H. Mallock, "Violet Fane," 
and Lady Colin Campbell. The Oliphants and Eltons 
of the London Review were followed in the paper's later 
days by some clever young spirits from Scotland and 
the north of Ireland, whose influence in journalism and 
works in literature are alive to-day. The leading Scot 
was William Black, the novelist, who soon transferred 
himself to other Fleet Street offices. His Irish colleague, 
who acted as editor, William Barry, continued almost 
to its last number, and turned out a sheet that in the 
seventies gave Edmund Yates some useful notions for the 
World. Clement Scott, the Saturday " Parson Scott's " 
son, missed in the present century a chance of instituting, 
in his Free -Lance, what might have been a real rival 
to the sixpenny Saturday. 

Meanwhile, the first serious opposition to the Saturday 
came in 1861 from the two men who re-created the 
Spectator, first started in 1828, and was associated with 
the Benthamite tnovement in the press. The Benthamite 
propagandists, helped by Bright and Cobden, founded 
the Morning and Evening Star, with Samuel Lucas for 



236 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

its first editor. After him came Mr. Justin McCarthy. 
Leicester Buckingham, and finally the future Lord 
Morley of Blackburn. Thus its connection with philo- 
sophic Radicalism gave the Star a place in the 
newspaper press not unlike that taken by the 
Westminster among the great magazines. Here, how- 
ever, our only concern is with the personal aspects 
of the weekly journalism whose foundations had been 
laid before the Saturday Review came into being. The 
leading spirits of the (Sunday) Atlas, first heard of in 
1825-6, were the men who sometimes found a parlia- 
mentary leader in Joseph Hume. Their initiating guide, 
philosopher and friend was, however, in reality Jeremy 
Bentham. The Benthamite owners of the Atlas soon 
found themselves at the most unphilosophic loggerheads 
with their crack writers, most of whom had rival crotchets 
of their own. As a consequence Fonblanque joined 
the Examiner, then recently purchased by a somewhat 
opiniated politician, but far-sighted man of business. Dr. 
Fellowes. Rintoul, believing he had a mission to 
humanise and educate Radicalism, started the Spectator 
as a means to that end. 

Leigh Hunt's work on the Examiner, as elsewhere^ 
makes him one of the great newspaper men who turned 
journalism into literature. That, too, was pre-eminently, 
to form the distinction of his most brilliant successor. 
Albany Fonblanque's humour, sarcasm, instinct for literary, 
form, and sustained finish of style give to all his Examiner 
writings a value which resembles that attaching to Leigh 
Hunt's in that it is independent of their subject. These 
qualities, admiringly noticed by his most discriminating 
contemporaries, caused Bulwer-Lytton to speak of him 
as the " English Paul Louis Courier." Undoubtedly 
they constituted gifts partly to be explained by his French 
descent. His eighteenth -century ancestor had founded 
a successful London banking house. His father, a well- 
known equity lawyer and M.P. for Camelford, had 
attached himself to Liberalism in its darkest days. The 
Revocation of the Edict of Nantes had made the Fon- 
blanques, like so many other French Huguenots, an 
English family. Its earliest settlers on this side of the 
Channel transmitted to all their descendants a hatred of 
kingcraft and priestcraft. That, however, had not pre- 



TEACHERS OF THE PRESS 237 

vented John Martin Fonblanque, Albany Fonblanque's 
father, from standing well with the future George IV. 
when, as the patron of Sheridan and Fox, he was supposed 
to favour the Whigs. Albany, Fonblanque himself, a 
brilliant talker and finished scholar, came into much 
social request during the Regency period. By nature 
shy and sensitive, he had no ambition to shine in drawing- 
rooms or at dinner -tables. Suffering from chronic ill- 
health and domestic unhappiness, he found the only real 
solace in his pen ; as a writer he reflected his social 
temperament and habit. Self -repression, literary and 
social, formed his chief characteristic. No journalist 
of the time more strongly impressed his personality on 
his articles ; he could be detected in almost as few! 
lines as Thackeray himself. Yet when he felt most 
strongly, he always expressed himself the most temper- 
ately ; as a consequence, he conveys the reader to a 
sense not merely of strength but of power in reserve. 
His negative bent made him naturally a critic and a 
censor rather than a champion, but Cobbett's influence 
with the masses found its parallel among the more 
educated sections of society in the driving power of 
Fonblanque's highly -wrought attacks upon the abuses, 
anomalies, scandals, official and personal, in the period of 
obscurantism and privilege, against which his working 
life was one long war. Eventually Fonblanque gained not 
only an editor's but an owner's control over the journal 
which, ras generally happens in these cases, helped as much 
to make his fame as did his genius to create the prosperity 
and power of the paper. Fonblanque's influence upon the 
contemporary press showed itself most noticeably in the 
case of Douglas Jerrold, whose deserved reputation for 
sarcastic humour and biting wit, for puns, pleasantry, 
and plays, did not militate against the soundness of his 
Liberalism as a writer. His principles and his more 
serious writings, especially in Lloyd's Weekly newspaper, 
were indeed exactly those of Fonblanque, between whom' 
and John Forster Jerrold supplied a personally connecting 
link. Like Laman Blanchard, who superintended the 
literary department, John Forster, in the interval since 
his Daily News experiences, had worked for a little 
sheet, the True Sun. From the True Sun Blanchard, 
the fairest and most grateful reviewer of his time, went 



238 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

to the Constitutional ; Forster transferred himself to the 
Examiner. Here he continued his theatrical critiques till 
his strong brain and wide knowledge found a fitting exer- 
cise in articles dealing with the whole range of public 
affairs. Thus in his case, as in that of Fonblanque, to whom 
in journalism he rendered much the same services as he 
afterwards did to Dicikens in literature, the way opened 
itself to supreme control and ownership. No wiser use 
of literary position and ability, was ever made than by 
Forster in his Examiner days. Ever ready to play a 
conciliatory and peace -making part, he was keen in dis- 
covering new literary talent. Thus he was the first to 
find out Anthony Trollope, and to publish the earliest 
productions of his pen in the shape of some Letters 
from Ireland during the famine of 1846. But though few 
departments of journalism or literature were not affected 
for the good of their writers by Forster, he could no;t 
transmit to his own paper anything of his own intellectual 
vitality and distinction. The name of the sheet on which 
he showed himself the worthy successor of Hunt and 
Fonblanque appeared in the newspaper list for some 
years afterwards. Never, even when owned by Lord 
Rosebery and managed by his clever Oxford private 
tutor of other days, Robert Williams, did it regain its 
former pride of power and place. 

Robert Stephen Rintoul's Scotch deliberateness and 
self-possession of manner presented a contrast to 
Fonblanque as complete as that between the different 
views taken by the two men respectively of their news- 
paper mission. Rintoul troubled himself less about 
securing reforms than about educating the reformers. 
The one great movement which he had deeply at heart 
was that for improving the condition of the working classes 
in their domestic life even more than in their political 
status. The next aim with which he stamped every 
number of the Spectator was to make it, by an economy 
of space and by symmetry of arrangement, a complete 
record of contemporary events and a model of technical 
excellence in its "make-up." As a consequence, the 
journalistic offspring of Rintoul may, like that of Douglas 
Cook, claim to have been throughout all its changes ' 

■ The correspondents who are always ready to testify their gratitude to the 
Spectator's editors and writers have often seen a symbol of their fevourite paper's 



TEACHERS OF THE PRESS 239 

the educated Englishman's lay preacher and instructor 
on all the higher interests in ethics, theology, as in society 
and statesmanship of the time. The flowing of such 
consequences from the squabbles of the Benthamite 
publicists in 1828 is due to other influences than the 
happy conjunction in theVictorian Age of Meredith Town - 
send and R. H. Hutton. When, in 1861, Mr. Townsend 
bought the paper, its sellers were represented by the editor 
then in charge, George Hooper, whose name has been 
already mentioned in connection with the Daily Tele- 
graph. R. H. Hutton's capital was added afterwards. 
In the successful partnership that followed, Townsend's 
special department was political, Hutton's literary. But 
both men had come strongly under the influence of 
F. D. Maurice. That divine, indeed, had scarcely less to 
do with giving the paper its special cachet than had 
the proprietors themselves. So, too, in the case of the 
twentieth -century Saturday, Mr. Harold Hodge carries 
on the traditions and reflects the influences quite as much 
of the experiences he gathered after Oxford as he does 
those of Douglas Cook, Philip Harwood, or Walter 
Pollock. The cosmopolitan knowledge of affairs, the 
aptitude for the philosophy of politics, the literary ge'nius 
and insight that belonged to Meredith Townsend and 
R. H. Hutton, were communicated by them to their paper. 
During the second half of the nineteenth century, Oxford 
undergraduates reading for honours in " Greats," and 
perhaps too prone, as their tutors thought, to take for 
their essay models the " middle " articles which Douglas 
Cook had trained a long succession of writers to produce 
for the Saturday, were admonished carefully to examine 
and endeavour themselves to reproduce the political 
analysis, the closely -linked chains of argument that were 
to be found in each successive number of the Spectator 
and, in the English press, nowhere else. As a rule the 
very best of party writers in the press intensifies and sets 
upon an intellectual basis his readers' opinions already 
formed rather than converts them to his own. The intel- 
lectual power, the moral earnestness, and the capacity of 



adherence through all dispensations to its original programme in the feet that its 
publishing office, Wellington Street, ha always been the same, the premises on 
which Rintoul not only worked but lived with his femily. 



240 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

apposite and world-wide illustration possessed by Hutton 
and his colleague have descended to their successors with 
no diminution of the best Spectator traditions, and this to 
such a degree that, where other periodical writers only 
secure readers, those who have followed the re -creators 
of the Wellington Street journal make converts. 



CHAPTER X 

FROM FREDERICK GREENWOOD TO HENRY LABOUCIIERE 

A new power — The evening press and its real founder — Frederick Greenwood's 
early course — Projection of the Pall Mall Gazette — ^Writers and writing that 
made the paper — The "Amateur Casual" — Greenwood's editorial methods 
and journalistic beliefs — Attempts to " nobble " the Pall Mall — Remarkable 
work in foreign and domestic afiairs — Holt Whyte's memorable ride from 
Sedan — :The union of literature and journalism — Foreign writers on the 
Pall Mall — Greenwood and his company "smoked out" — He establishes 
a rival St. James's Gazette — Further extension of the evening press — The 
Westminster Gazette and its founder — Sir George Newnes's newspaper 
career — Society journals and their creators — Edmund Yates^T. G. Bowles 
— Grenville Murray — Henry Labouchere. 

The men who early in the nineteenth century's second 
half stand out in the strongest relief from' the othear 
newspaper figures of the time would not have founid 
the opportunities they were to turn to such good account 
but for the general agencies that, after the fashion 
already described, had brought the periodical press to 
a higher place and greater prosperity than could have 
been predicted, even some years after journalism had 
outgrown the disrepute which made it a byword in Walter 
Scott's day, and not entirely reputable in Thackeray's. 
The nineteenth century's beginning had been of great 
promise to the journalist, especially the evening one ; 
its fourth decade brought a relapse, and almost robbed 
of his occupation the post-meridian daily writer. Then 
came a revival. Newspaper enterprise had whetted the 
public appetite. From 1850 onwards there once more 
seemed no reason why the evening journal should not 
successfully compete with the sheet spread before the 
suburban citizen on his breakfast table and studied during 
his subsequent journey from Caterham to Cannon Street. 
The matutinal prints clearly did not admit of addition to 

16 211 



242 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

their number. No practicable improvement could have 
been suggested on the freshness or universality of their 
world-wide intelligence, or on the literary style, know- 
ledge, and common sense of their comments. Even then, 
the most cool and sagacious of writers might be thrown 
into confusion by a sudden piece of news. But whatever 
the political event, it could not fail of being related to 
past or present occurrences well known. The able and 
trained journalist became proof against the shock of 
surprise even when he heard the unexpected had 
happened, and was told off to write about it at an hour's 
notice. That hour, denied alike to the journalist's and 
public's loss to-day, saved the situation then, and ensured 
the production of a well thought out, carefully expressed 
composition on the latest issues of the hour. As a 
consequence, the individual writer never before or since 
enjoyed such a chance as in the sixties ; while Cabinet 
Ministers considered him almost of as much importance 
as the editor himself. Not that, it may be said in 
passing, he necessarily then brought more knowledge 
or thought to his work than does to-day his successor 
of the better sort whose " copy " goes up to the printer 
in tiny slips, and is prepared amid a storm of " wires " 
pouring in from every quarter and to be incor- 
porated in the text. The second half, however, of the 
Victorian Age had not advanced far when the latest 
developments of steam printing and telegrajihic com- 
munication concurred with a restlessness on the part of 
newspaper managers visibly to bring nearer and nearer 
the day when the morning paper's political criticisms 
would, like its dramatic, have to be dashed off at hot 
haste. If, therefore, measured and thoughtful estimates 
of contemporary events and their makers were to be 
given, they must be found, not in the sheet read by the 
Briton with his loins girded before he rushed off to the 
City, but in some afternoon print that he could con 
at ease on his homeward train, during the intervals of his 
domestic after-dinner nap, or at his club. 

As usually happens, the man needed by the houf 
appeared in the most quietly, determined, variously re- 
sourceful, and least self -advertising of those who had 
learned the rudiments of their craft on Vizetelly's Illus- 
trated Times. To good purpose had Frederick Green- 



GREENWOOD TO LABOUCHERE 243 

wood made two different observations. On the one hand 
he saw journalism attracting to itself as a power more 
and more bright, strong, scholarly minds. Daily it ex- 
tended its advance on ground that had been well- prepared 
by the Saturday Review ; with this weekly he had never 
been intimate. Even its editor he had only seen once, 
and that when Cook edited the Morning Chronicle jin 
the premises nearly opposite Somerset House. Here he 
had, indeed, received Greenwood only less roughly than 
he had already dealt with his printer, whom' he had put 
on the fire for a typographical error. Next to the 
educating agencies of the Saturday Review, Frederick 
Greenwood was struck by the place manifestly existing 
for a journal whose publishing hour should be that rather 
of luncheon than breakfast. In 1865 it was known only 
to a few that the Tory Protestant M.P., Charles Newdi- 
gate, owned the St. James's Chronicle ; indeed, the fact 
of its existence was a secret shared by its proprietor with 
his printer. The Globe, indeed, was in vigorous evidence, 
and had a few thousand subscribers who never read 
anything else. Some years later it made a fresh start 
under the editorship first of Marwood Tucker, then of 
Captain, afterwards Sir George, Armstrong ; he, with 
Mortimer Granville for his assistant, Mortimer Collins 
in his purple velvet coat, Byronic neckgear, most musical 
and scholarly of Bohemians, for his occasional bard, 
R. E. Francillon, Thomas Pumell for his prose writers, 
made the paper a valuable and politically influential 
property. But in 1865 the afternoon ground had not, 
even to this extent, been occupied. 

Frederick Greenwood did not delay his operations for 
making the opportunity his own. He confided his plans 
to the most p'ersonally amiable and popular of publishers 
who then adorned the Strand. This was tha once well- 
known " Johnny Parker." He immediately beamed 
approval of the project ; he was going into details and 
considering premises when his father died. A new 
capitalist had therefore to be found. As Thackeray's 
successor in editing the Cornhill Magazine, Greenwood 
had already access to George Smith of the Smith and 
Elder firm. " The kindest gentleman I have had to 
deal with " was to be J. E. Millais's deathbed opinion 
of George Murray Smith. His generosity and kindliness 



244 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

to all the men of letters with whom he had to do made 
him, when once their employer, their friend as well. A 
single evening's after-dinner conversation on the subject 
with Greenwood resulted in the decision to bring out the 
Pall Mall Gazette as soon as the necessary preparations 
could be matured. To-day Greenwood is remembered, if 
at all, as a practical newspaper man of wide experience, 
shrewd insight, and first-rate judgment. Could he have 
chosen his circumstances, he might have taken pure 
letters, rather than journalism, for his career. Notwith- 
standing a certain sub -acidity, due chiefly to his sur- 
roundings, his mind was traversed by a gentler vein 
than had an opportunity of declaring itself in the drive 
and clash of newspaper editing. The reputation won by 
his Essay without an End and his novel Margaret Denzil 
in the Cornhill formed the later evidence of powers that 
had secured his promotion to the Cornhill editorship in 
1863. Since then he had saturated himself with the terse 
and telling fluency of Addison, Swift, Steele, the pn- 
laboured dignity of Bolingbroke and others of the Queen 
Anne period who mark the reaction from the musical 
and picturesque writers that had preceded them, and who, 
in their turn, present a contrast to the stately style that 
had again come in before the Georgian era began. With- 
out the Saturday Review there could have been no Pall 
Mall Gazette. But if the new evening paper of the 
sixties had been run entirely on Saturday Review lines, 
it would have come to grief some time before its sanguine 
ill-wishers complacently saw signs, not to be fulfilled, 
of its collapse. Never leaving out of sight the general 
raising of the journalistic standard by Douglas Cook 
and his company. Greenwood did not forget the secrets 
of popular success which he had learned from Vizetelly 
on the Illustrated Times. The heavy guns of his new 
paper, H. S. Maine, Fitzjames Stephen and of the ultra- 
radical or positivist division, as occasional contributors 
during Broadhead's Sheffield outrages in 1867, might 
have fired away indefinitely without hitting the public 
between the wind and water. Anthony TroUope wrote 
some capital short hunting articles ; but they sounded 
like echoes from the sporting passages in his novels. 
Lawrence Oliphant's skit on Ladies at Law entertained 
the writer's cronies at the Athenaeum'. Frederick Green- 



GREENWOOD TO LABOUCHERE 245 

wood's own Friends in Council was newspaper padding 
of a higher kind than could be found elsewhere. , A 
joint effusion from Charles Austin and H. D. Traill, 
Sir Pitt Crawley's Letter on entering Parliament, iwas; 
smart but nothing more. Of those two writers, Austin 
has already been named for his Saturday essay on 
Jupiter Junior. Since then he had been attached to 
the Times, both as a writer at home and correspondent 
in India. Like his elder and ultra -Bohemian brother 
William Staunton, Charles Austin had the West Indian 
temperament, and his work, though often admirable, was 
not easy to get. He fell out of favour in Printing House 
Square, and so, like many another, disappeared from the 
newspaper world. One entirely new feature and writer had, 
indeed, already been secured by Greenwood. This was 
Maurice Drummond, who, if he did not actually invent 
the " occasional note," now the common property of the 
whole press, brought it to a perfection and invested 
it with a flavour entirely fresh in the Pall Mall Gazette. 
In Greenwood's own words, however, the craft was still 
waiting for the breeze which no amount of whistling on 
the [skipper's part seemed likely to bring. Just then were 
visible the first signs of the polite interest in the welfare 
of the poorest classes which was afterwards to develop 
into the fashionable form of " slumming." The condition 
of workhouses throughout the kingdom had recently dis- 
closed many scandals. Especially had much been heard 
of the horrors amid which the penniless vagrant passed 
his night if h& sought free shelter in one of the London 
or provincial unions. The Pall Mall Gazette's editor 
had a brother who wrote most effectively about that half 
of the world of which the other half knows nothing. 
To James Greenwood, therefore, Frederick betook him- 
self, with the result that James achieved notoriety for 
himself as the " amateur casual," and by doing so for 
the first time put the paper in everyone's hands. " Have 
you," was the question asked at the time of a charming 
and since then a famous actress, " heard that one of the 
Pall Mall men has been passing a night in a workhouse ? " 
" Do they," was the demure rejoinder, " pay them so 
badly as all that?" The words were uttered in a tone 
which at the time may seem to have meant more than 
was actually said, because of a recent Pall Mall criticism 



246 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

of T. W. Robertson's Caste, just brought out by Miss 
Wilton's Prince of Wales company. The writer, stated 
at the time to be an ex-cavalry officer, Captain Alfred 
Thompson, but since known to be Button Cook, particu- 
larly condemned the then Mr. Bancroft's impersonation 
of a heavy dragoon. Captain Hawtree. The two Green- 
wood brethren between them' had, however, now made 
the fortunes of the paper. James Greenwood's experi- 
ences were given in his own strong, simple words. The 
effects, due to a clever arrangement of light and shade 
that made the piece a really artistic composition, were 
entirely the adroit contrivances of his brother Frederick. 
Exhausted by the fatigues, by the evil sounds, sights, 
and smells of his nocturnal adventure, the •" amateur 
casual " concluded with a description of the welcome 
sight awaiting him outside the casual ward in the shape 
of the editorial brougham and the saving refreshment 
presently administered from the editorial pdte-de-foie- 
gras sandwich box and silver sherry flask. The addition 
of touches like these was a knack Greenwood had learned 
from Delane, and often enabled him to improve the 
general impression which an article gave by a few 
syllables of felicitous and forcible finish. 

Still in the prime of life, the freshness of youth just 
mellowing into middle-aged maturity, Frederick Green- 
wood during these years was in his intellectual and 
imaginative prime, and really inspired as well as directed 
the clever pens whom he had invited to help him in 
his work. The sport made in his columns by the pas- 
sages between Arminius and Adolescens Leo owed as 
much to Greenwood's after -sug'gestions as to Matthew 
Arnold's originating impulse. Greenwood also at the 
Pall Mall broke with the traditional practice of retain- 
ing! a regular staff of leader-writers. Men like Fitz- 
james Stephen and H. S. Maine were, indeed, ever at 
his call. On the other hand, he always kept a keen 
look-out for rising talent in London clubs, in the Inns 
of Court, and even in University common-rooms, in case 
it should give any sign of journalistic usefulness. 
Literary experience or skill he did not ask for in his 
recruits, but only a practical knowledge and a habit of 
clear, fresh thinking about subjects which some special 
interest had caused them to make their own. He did 



GREENWOOD TO LABOUCHERE 247 

not, indeed, commission these to write a leading article ; 
he invited them to submit to him their ideas, as they 
might do in a letter to a discriminating friend. If 
what the promising neophyte thus sent him had really 
good stuff in it, it might be elaborated into the leading 
article of the day. In this way Professor Lewis Camp- 
bell's brother Robert, a Chancery barrister, first made 
his appearance, and afterwards often repeated it, in 
" leader " type. Years passed on,; having secured the 
Pall Mall's present and future, in the interests, as he 
believed, of English journalism generally. Greenwood 
used his paper for practically illustrating the ideas of 
how to make the press more readable, and so more 
powerful, first formed by him in his Illustrated Times 
days. By this time he had his pick of regular correspon- 
dents all the world over, in every European capital, and 
at whatever continental crisis. Percy William Smythe, 
George Smythe's brother of " Young England " fame, 
both before and after he became the eighth Viscount 
Strangford, was the man who most helped Greenwood 
to give the Pall Mall something of a European position. 
Neither he nor his well -placed friends in every conti- 
nental centre whom he carried with him had ever before 
been much concerned with pen and ink. They now sent 
Greenwood not only the exact news, which was piost 
Valuable, but prepared in the precise way he had pre- 
scribed. They did not, that is, with a little care or 
a vast deal too much, as Greenwood put it, write for 
a public which went wild twice a week over sensational 
telegrams. Their Pall Mall letters were made up of 
observation rather than comment ; they consisted for 
the most part of paragraphs containing concrete news, 
affirming, explaining, correcting or denying, as the case 
might be. What had been published elsewhere. Green- 
wood's editorial course formed one long protest against 
the growing tendency to confuse the functions of the 
news -collector and the leader-writer. The old ways of 
simple and straightforward reporting, he insisted, should 
be those of the foreign correspondent. He would have 
nothing to do with, and never printed, what he called 
long screeds of speculation such as then began to elbow 
out the often bald, but ever-informatory and business- 
like despatches of Renter's Agency. Because they were 



248 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

telegraphed, contended Greenwood, these screeds took in 
the public, which did not see, and perhaps did not wish 
to see, that the wired messages, so far from conveying 
new facts, were apt to be evolved from the sender's agility 
in jumping to a conclusion, and coloured by the fancy, 
the prejudice, it might be even the interests, of himself, 
or more probably of others. Greenwood's insight and 
precaution in these matters .giradually won for the Pall 
Mall in every European Court and Chancery a reputa- 
tion that stung even Bismarck with a desire to 
" nobble " it. More than once the German Chancellor 
sent his emissaries from Berlin to the editorial room in 
Northumberland Street, where the Pall Mall then lived. 
Greenwood, however, was not once even nearly being 
got at. " Whenever," said Lord Beaconsfield, " I read 
Greenwood, I feel myself in the grip of a statesman." 

During one memorable year (1875) of his editorial 
course, the journalist was ,to give the Prime Minister 
a lead through an operation in high finance and diplo- 
macy that was to do for his paper's European position 
what the " amateur casual " had done for its English 
circulation. The widely-ramifying connection with 
authentic sources of foreign news had in the first instance 
come to Greenwood mainly through the good offices 
of the already -mentioned Lord Strangford. Thus it was 
that, six years after Strangford's death. Greenwood 
learned the French intention to dominate the Suez Canal. 
Elsewhere " the present writer has stated the separate 
steps taken by the Pall Mall Gazette editor on making 
this discovery. Here, however, it may be briefly repeated 
that Greenwood had no sooner conceived the idea of 
forestalling France than he mentioned it to Mr. Henry 
Oppenheim, who, in his turn, imparted the notion to 
Baron Lionel Rothschild, with whom, at Gunnersbury, 
the Prime Minister sometimes spent his Sundays. It 
may, indeed, well be that, before his return to power 
in 1874, the project had shaped itself in Disraeli's mind, 
or had been breathed by him to New Court. Should, how- 
ever, this have been the case, the present writer has Mr. 
Greenwood's authority for saying that no suggestion of 
the sort had ever reached hinai from the City. In the 

' British Diplomacy : its Makers and its Movements, pp. 330-1. 



GREENWOOD TO LABOUCHERE 249 

middle seventies, therefore, the originator of the scheme 
was considered by Mr. Oppenheim and others to be 
no one but the then editor and founder of the Pall Mall 
Gazette . 

Nor was it only by feats on this heroic scale that 
Greenwood glorified his apostleship ; by his diligence, 
perspicacity and care exercised on homelier sides, he 
rendered services not less meritorious alike to the com- 
munity and to his own calling. He had in him a good 
deal of the detective as well as of the diplomatist. 
Private knowledge had excited his suspicion that many 
seemingly innocent advertisements offered to his own 
paper and widely published elsewhere came in reality 
from habitual child murderers. A courageous, jgood- 
hearted, clever woman, whose name he never disclosed, 
assisted him in the inquiries he set on foot. She first 
brought him a bundle of letters which laid the business 
open to him more plainly than he had ventured to think 
possible. He had thus a strong foundation on which 
to base his appeal against publishing all baby-farming 
announcements. The woman who had been the chief 
advertiser in this way was soon after brought to justice 
and hanged. That formed the speedy and conclusive 
proof of the wholesome influence exercised by Greenwood 
on his craft, as well as of the obligations under which 
he had placed the public. 

The Pall Malt Gazette's foomder and first editor 
showed as much acumen in finding out new and unknown 
contributors of the first rank as in taking international 
initiatives or in bringing the most slippery and cruel of 
criminals within reach of the law. The feats of W. H. 
Russell during the Crimean Campaign and of Archi- 
bald Forbes in the Franco -Prussian War made them 
not only newspaper celebrities, but national heroes, to 
whose familiar laurels no fresh leaf remains to add. 
In the struggle that brought down the second French 
Empire with the crash of Sedan, Greenwood was repre- 
sented on the battlefield, among others, by Mr. Holt 
Whyte ; in choosing him when an untried and almost 
unknown man. Greenwood had acted on an instinctive 
belief that a calm, resolute manner concealed Journalistic 
gifts of the rarest and best kind. At any rate the corre- 
spondent's performance justified the editor's boast that 



250 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

he would hold his own" ag^ainst all rivals. Take the 
following instance of the young Oriel graduate's culmi- 
nating achievement as the military historian of the hour. 
Holt Whyte was with the Prussian King's staff on the 
heights above Sedan when the French Emperor's letter 
of surrender came in. Night was near; Holt Whyte 
lost not a moment in riding! down the hill, straight across 
the battlefield. Then he took his route over the Belgian 
frontien; with g^reat ingenuity of resource and strength 
of nerve that never failed him even when his bodily 
power almost gave out, he made his way to London and 
to the Pall Mall Gazette office two days before any 
account had been published in England. The short 
narrative which Holt Whyte had brought ready written 
with him of course appeared in the next issue ; it was 
supplemented by a longer narrative in a later edition. 
Even that more deliberate record conveyed to the general 
public the first knowledge of what had happened. 

Roughly speaking, Holt Whyte, if in years their 
junior, was the pen contemporary, of Archibald Forbes 
and George Henty. These again were lineally descended 
from Antonio Gallenga, the oldest of the race, W. H. 
Russell, his Crimean colleague, W. H. Stowe, and 
another Times man, an unjustly forg'otten master of 
his craft, " Nick " Woods, chiefly a describer of home 
events, but equally competent for dealing with scenes 
of war and peace at any point of this planet. These 
had for their successors, in one or two cases perhaps 
their coevals, men not below them in literary power,, 
their equals in seizing the essential features of a dramatic 
panorama and of tersely and picturesquely condensing 
them into fewer words than might have sufficed for the 
masters from whom they had learned their art. For 
example, to Godfrey Turner, who had his first great 
chance in the Jamaica disturbances of 1865, succeeded 
Mr. Bennett Burleigh on the Daily. Telegraph; after 
Forbes came MacGahan on the Dmly News. As 
regards active service, Charles Williams may be said 
to have outlived George Henty on the Standard, and 
then transferred his industry to the Daily Chronicle, 
to mention only one of his latest outlets. While owing 
something, it may be, to hints that suggested them- 
selves in reading what came from the pens of those now 



GREENWOOD TO LABOUCHERE 251 

named, Holt Wliyte, next to his own faculty of quick, 
clear observation, and of drawing in his mind correct 
conclusions from what his eyes saw, found that, in his 
editor's counsel and proof correction, he had the best 
help towards forming a style whose naturalness, ap- 
parently spontaneous finish and point made it a speciality 
of Greenwood's paper. 

Leigh Hunt, Fonblanque, and others already named 
had but followed the best of seventeenth or eighteenth- 
century periodical pens in vindicating, by precept and 
practice, the claim of journalism to be considered a 
branch of literature. Greenwood arranged his daily bill 
of fare with an eye to making his journal the political 
or literary mouthpiece and leader of the cultured class. 
His own style may have been influenced by the study of 
Swift, but really grew from his logical mind and his 
habit of vigilantly watching for, and tenaciously storing 
with a view to future use, whatever struck him as 
specially good and wise in well-bred and intellectual 
company. The pamphleteer, the journalist's progenitor, 
had fallen into a copyist of what were not the best 
qualities either in Johnson or in Junius. Even so late 
•as the middle of the nineteenth century, newspaper -writers 
had not shaken themselves free of a tendency to a 
stilted heaviness of phrase. They were perpetually 
lapsing into a diction at once formal, artificial, and 
hackneyed. Some of the best known and even effective 
Times contributors, such as "S. G. O. " (Lord Sidney 
Godolphin Osborne) made no effort to rise above it. 
No one did more than Greenwood to substitute for it a 
style idiomatic, familiar, in short the natural good 
English, spiced with humour, that, in their letters and 
conversation, always remained in fashion with clever 
and educated men. Thus for the first time the reproach 
of " newspaper English " was in a fair way of becoming 
obsolete. To encourage that mode of expression stands 
to the credit of the new journalism, not only as in 
Greenwood's hands it was, but as it still remains in the 
extraordinary access of newspaper enterprise which he 
lived just long enough to see was coming, and which 
now marks an entirely fresh dispensation in Fleet Street. 

At the same time it will be remembered that Green- 
wood represented only one among several literary forces. 



252 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

visibly affecting' for good the journalistic style of his 
day. With the sixties Froude had begun to be recog- 
nised as a master of simple, nervous, flexible prose. 
Froude 's style had been formed upon the same models 
as J. H. Newman's and Benjamin Jowett's. Each of 
these teachers showed at its very best Oxford culture 
in its influence upon the literary taste of the clever 
young men who, not by one and one, but by half-dozens, 
were trooping from the Isis to the Thames, and, instead 
of schoolmastering at Rugby or curacy -taking at the 
East End, were gradually struggling into a livelihood 
on the press. Add to this the magnetically educating 
charm of Lawrence Oliphant's Piccadilly or other 
writings, of his master's, A. W. Kinglake's, Eothen, as 
well as, nor less important than either, the revived popu- 
larity of Eliot Warburton's Crescent and the Cross, and 
of all George Sorrow's volumes. Such, in brief, is the 
sum of the intellectual agencies with which, following 
Douglas Cook, Meredith Townsend, and R. H. Hutton, 
Greenwood's editorial methods and opportunities co- 
operated to make the newspaper, more than ever it had 
been, the literary mirror of the talk, and therefore of 
the mind, of the average intelligent and educated Briton. 
Others than those whose names have now been given 
worked not less certainly than Greenwood in the new 
and better direction. He had been among the earliest 
of his generation to find out that the intelligent 
foreigner with any linguistic turn may be as useful in 
an English newspaper ofifice and in the leader columns 
as the most versatile and vigorous of native scribes. 
One of his most useful writers had long been the 
Kolnische Zeitung's London representative, Max Schle- 
singer, much resorted to and esteemed by diplomatically 
minded M.P.'s and others with an appetite for authentic 
foreign news in the sixties and seventies, to be followed 
in the English correspondence of the same paper by Mr. 
Schneider during the next decade. Another foreigner 
who did excellent work for Greenwood, as he did else- 
where, was the present Ambassador of the French 
Republic at Rome, H.E. Camille Barr^re, then a refugee 
in London, who had mastered an English style free from 
all traces of a foreign authorship. One of M. Barrfere's 
compatriots named Thieblin, a bright, cheery little 



GREENWOOD TO LABOUCHERE 253 

gentleman, first won Greenwood's heart by some parti- 
cularly vivid descriptions of the excitement at Luxem- 
burg on the eve of the Franco-Prussian War. Thieblin 
afterwards, under the signature " Azamat Batuk," pub- 
lished A Little Book about Qreat Britain, embodying 
a good deal of what had first done duty in the Pall 
Mall Gazette. Peace had been restored some time 
when Thieblin, striking an entirely new vein, supplied 
sketches of French metropolitan or provincial life which 
appeared during many months, and were so uncommlonly 
and naively telling as to make many even of the experts 
think they could come from no other pen than Grenville 
Murray's. About him there will be presently something 
to say. 

The general election of 1880 brought with it Glad- 
stone's premiership and Greenwood's deposition from 
the place of power in the press he had held for fifteen 
years, scarcely less eventful to journalism generally than 
to himself. George Smith had made the Pall Mall 
Gazette over to his son-in-law, Mr. Yates Thompson, a 
gentleman long identified with official Liberalism. 
During the Pall Mall's earlier days James Hannay, having 
noticed in it something that jarred on his Tory prejudices, 
asked Greenwood to name the politics of his paper. 
" Philosophic Radical," came the reply. " I see," was 
Hannay 's comment, "the Radical." Both the man who 
put the question and the man who answered it had 
indeed worked on the same paper as the democratic 
Robert Brough. Greenwood, however, had never been 
more touched than Hannay himself by the democratic 
tar-brush. As a fact, he had learned to^ " think imperi- 
ally " in his paper, and was always laying a compulsion 
upon his readers to do the same long before Joseph 
Chamberlain had formulated the precept. Chamber- 
lainism, as it was known in the seventies, was held up 
daily by the Pall Mall as the one enemy which the nation 
had to fear. The secret of Greenwood's power was, 
of course, his independence. Yet to the Conservativels, 
while a declared neutral, he had rendered a greater 
service than had ever been done by their own press when 
he gave writers of such power as Fitzjames Stephen and 
H. S. Maine the room in his column for justifying the 
new imperialism on intellectual grounds. 



254 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

The Gladstonian triumph in the spring of 1880 gave 
the Pall Mall an editor even more fervently Gladstonian 
than was the Pall Mall's new proprietor. The Green- 
wood company, as some of them put it, were sm'oked 
out ; Mr. John Morley, occupying the recently vacated 
chair, superintended the early movements of the paper in 
its new and Liberal career. Among the comparatively 
or quite new writers whom he brought out was the young 
Oxford man of that time who had won all the prizes 
of his University, and who had still to begin his official 
career, the future Lord Milner. Not more than momen- 
tary proved the check thus given to Greenwood's course 
on the lines he had laid down for himself. Before 
many weeks were over, with the help of Mr. Hucks 
Gibbs, the late Lord Aldenham, as principal proprietor. 
Greenwood successfully established the St. James's 
Gazette. His new staff consisted of those whom he had 
chosen as writers for his old paper. The future Lord 
Morley 's retirement from the Pall Mall in 1883 opened 
to his second in command, Mr. W. T. Stead, the editorial 
career which has since connected him with so many of 
the most remarkable phases in modern journalism. The 
high -pressure period of the Stead administration did 
not extend beyond two years. The paper then came 
under the control of Mr. Henry Cokayne Cust. Mr. 
Stead's mingling of democracy and sensationalism in his 
methods had left the Pall Mall as ultra -Radical as it 
was made by Greenwood's first successor. Mr. Cust 
and his friends at least infused new and strong blood 
into the weakened parts of the journalistic system. 
There was, too, a certain refreshing breeziness in the 
energy and the high spirits that animated and lightened 
their toil in restoring the paper to the older Conserva- 
tive traditions that, when they were boys, Hannay had 
so largely helped to establish. 

Meanwhile Greenwood had given up the second sheet 
of his own foundation, the St. James's Gazette. From 
his retirement he began to see effected in it transforma- 
tion scenes not less startling than those already recorded 
in the case of the Pall Mall. The financiers who had 
found the money for starting the St. James's in 1880 
sold it eight years later to Edward Steinkopff, a German 
gentleman with many other irons in the fire, one among 



GREENWOOD TO LABOUCHERE 255 

them taking the form of a large interest in mineral 
waters. Mr. Sidney J. Low, Greenwood's right-hand 
man during the Si. James's Gazette youth, becoming its 
editor when owned by Mr. Steinkopff, secured it perfect 
continuity with its best traditions, until, after some 
seventeen years, Mr. C. Arthur Pearson, now the owner 
of the whole Shoe Lane establishment, bought it only 
to destroy its identity by merging it in the Evening 
Standard. By this time, however, the spirit of news- 
paper activity had showed itself with startling success 
in the earliest of those journalistic projectors who were, 
to the latter part of the nineteenth and the beginnings 
of the twentieth century, what Greenwood and others 
already mentioned had been to the second half of the 
Victorian Age. This was the future Sir George Newnes. 
From his appearance, and as a result of his propulsive 
enterprise, must be dated the latest nineteenth and 
twentieth -century phases of newspaper progress. By 
birth he belonged to the same social order as that which 
produced the earliest among the real popularisers of the 
periodical press. Daniel Defoe, himself in the hosiery 
business, was the son of a Presbyterian tradesman. Sir 
George Newnes 's father was a Congregational minister, 
ho took the same pains to give his son the best 
education then known as had been taken more than a 
century and a half earlier by the Cripplegate butcher to 
provide with a suitable equipment of youthful learning 
the clever lad who was afterwards to found the Review 
and to write Robinson Crusoe. Born at Matlock, where 
his father had a pastoral charge, George Newnes learnt 
his rudiments at Shireland Hall, Warwick, first, at Sil- 
coates School, near Wakefield, afterwards. The finishing 
touches to his boyish training were given at the City of 
London School under Abbott. There, while winning 
few prizes, and not showing marked promise of coming 
intellectual distinction, he impressed his more observant 
teachers and schoolfellows by the power of application 
with which he generally contrived to execute whatever 
he might once have earnestly taken up. While Abbott's 
pupil, George Newnes had for his contemporary a future 
Prime Minister in Mr. Asquith. On leaving the school 
after having been there not more than three or four 
terms, Newnes adopted the calling of Cobden before 



w' 



256 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

him, and became a commercial traveller. Those are 
the years during which Dickens, by his Christmas Stones, 
especially as well as by certain passagies and characters 
in his novels, had clothed with something of romance, 
and with more associations of good-fellowship, the 
bagman's vocation. Such pleasant pictures of their 
order tended to make the novelist a prime favourite with 
the " gentlemen of the road," amongst them George 
Newnes. He, however, was soon to show a literary 
turn more practicable and profitable than that of author- 
ship. These newspaper paragraphs with which we beguile 
our journey contain in them, he reflected, not only the 
embryonic materials of tragedy, comedy, and farce, but 
the germs of whole treatises, as well as suggest thoughts 
whidi one moment make us roar with laughter, the 
next feel in the vein for sermons. Why, he asked 
himself, should these literary odds and ends be allowed 
to perish within a few hours of their being born ; or 
what is to prevent one from preserving the choicest 
morsels in a form detached from the less inviting context 
for which, as we ply through space, we have no appetite ? 
He was only thirty -one when the refusal of more than 
one publisher determined George Newnes himself to 
execute his project. Leaving Manchester for London, 
he opened an office in Farringdon Street and clothed 
in visible shape the notion of which his mind had long 
been full. Tit Bits was not sold through the newsagents, 
but supplied direct to the street boys by Newnes. During 
the first two hours of his earliest paper's existence, five 
thousand copies had been sold. Six months later the 
capitalist who would not venture £500 in the speculation 
offered £16,000. Newnes, a born financier as well as- 
newspaper runner, preferred keeping his business to 
himself, and was soon the sole head of the great concern 
which, transferred from its first premises to Burleigh 
Street, finally found its headquarters in the same 
thoroughfare as the Saturday Review. The contents of 
his new sheet did not form its only novelty. To attract 
fresh supporters, he originated the idea of newspaper 
insurances,' as well as of big prizes. 

' Coupons committing the newspaper proprietor to the payment of a fixed sum 
in case of injury or loss of life whenever the current number of the paper is found 
about the person. 



GREENWOOD TO LABOUCHERE 257 

All this was in preparation for the flight after higher 
game. Four years from his first start, the proprietor 
of Tit Bits found himteelf a Liberal member of Parliament. 
Since the Pall Mall Gazette's re-conversion to Conser- 
vatism, the party to which George Newnes belonged had 
been without effective representation on the evening 
press. This want Newnes was ready to supply. He 
designed the Westminster Gazette in 1893, not as the 
duplicate of the old Pall Mall, but as a paper whose* 
" make up " should catch readers who had been deterred 
as well as impressed by Greenwood's sheet. First-rate 
sub -editing was to be a prominent feature. The old 
three-paragraph " leader " on the front page remained 
a political necessity. Any other articles were to be 
short, sharp, pimgent, personal, written as little as 
possible in the regulation journalese, but unconvention- 
ally presenting fresh thoughts in crisp language. By 
this time Newnes had seen more than one change in the 
rank and file of newspaper -writers . The craft had risen 
in favour with Oxford and Cambridge dons ever since 
Townsend's gift of political analysis had given the 
Spectator an educational value, or the author of Ancient 
Law had resumed his early Saturday work under Green- 
wood in the Pall Mall Gazette. As many University 
honour men were now on the look-out for newspaper 
employment as for masterships at Rugby or chairs in 
the new local competitors with Oxford and Cambridge. 
Newnes was fortunate enough to find just the man he 
wanted for his Westminster editor in a Wykehamist, a 
first-class Ojan, Mr. E. T. Cook, who had begun his 
journalism in the Pall Malt at the Morley period. Mr. 
Cook's removal to the Daily. News in 1893 brought 
on, as his successor in the Westminster, Mr. J. A. 
Spender, himself, like Mr. Cook, a typical specimen of 
the best Oxford culture. During the same period as 
Lord Milner, he had formerly held a place among those 
who served the Pall Mall in its Morley days. There 
can be no more notably successful instance of all that 
is most enterprising in the new journalism combined 
with all that was best worth preserving in the old than 
is afforded by the co-operation of Mr. Spender with 
such colleagues as Sir F. C. Gould and Mr. C. E. 
Geake. Not only a shrewd, able, really original Jnan 

17 



268 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

this Westminster Gazette founder, but a courteous, 
thoughtful, kindly, and generous gentleman. Beneficent 
not as in the longest run the cheapest means of advertis- 
ing himself, but from a wish to do private good, and 
to help honest workers over rough places. His count- 
less good works done in this quiet fashion form at 
least as good a monument to his character, career, and 
success as the fine town hall built by him at Lynton,, 
his favourite North Devon resort, or the completely- 
equipped library with which he presented Putney. These 
are only one or two specimens of conduct which made 
George Newnes the most widely popular as well as 
prosperous newspaper runner of the new era. One 
serious mistake only in his business did he make — the 
attemlpt, in which he had Earl Hodgson for his coun- 
sellor as well as editor during the middle nineties, to 
establish a society daily called the Courier. 

Newspaper changes are now accomplished so rapidly 
that it seems almost ancient history to recall the acquisi- 
tion of the parent evening paper by the American 
millionaire, Mr. William Waldorf Astor. The personal 
associations of the new dispensation now entered on in 
1896 by the paper which Greenwood had founded a 
generation earlier are of extreme interest, because they 
exemplify the sustained attraction of journalistic enter- 
prise or industry for men of the first position in callings 
quite outside the literary craft. For some time before 
acquiring the really historic sheet, Mr. W. W. Astor 
had been universally known and esteemed not only as 
the head of the American colony, settled in fashionable 
London since 1863, but as the pattern of an Anglo- 
Saxon gentleman whose grace, dignity, simplicity of 
manners, kindliness of heart, easy and finished urbanity 
were shown alike in general society, beneath his own 
roof in Carlton House Terrace, as well as his Thames- 
side palace, Clieveden. Mr. Astor differs from his 
compatriot millionaires who share his domination of St. 
James's and Mayfair not so much in having a duke for 
his son-in-law, the wearer of John Churchill's strawberry- 
leaf (for that is the common lot of a transatlantic 
Croesus), but in choosing the old country for his per- 
manent and regular home. He is, too, the only born 
subject of the Stars ajtid Stripes whose family history 



GREENWOOD TO LABOUCHERE 259 

has been written and pedigree traced by the most accom- 
plished of New York prose stylists— to the following 
effect. Early in the nineteenth century Washington 
Irving had "met at Montreal certain partners of the great 
North -West Fur Company, who had aroused his interest 
in whatever related to trappers, hunters, Indians, and 
the peltry trade. Returningi to^ New York in 1 8 1 2, Irving 
had many commimications on these subjects with the 
great-grandfather, John Jacob Astor, of the Pall Mall 
Gazette's twentieth -century owner. Born at Waldorf, near 
Heidelberg, on the banks of the Rhine, J. J. Astor in 
January, 1784, took with him from London to the United 
States some little merchandise suited to the American 
market. On his voyage out he became intimate with a 
fellow-passenger and countryman, by profession a furrier, 
who had much to tell him concerning' furs and the 
fur trade. Accompanying this gentleman to New York, 
Astor invested in peltries the profits he had made out 
of the goods taken by him from England across the 
Atlantic. Rig^d economy, an aspiring genius that ever 
looked upward, a sagacity quick to grasp each fresh detail 
and convert every circumstance to its advantage, and 
a never wavering confidence in signal success at last 
formed his most valuable capital. By 1807 his adven- 
tures in the fur trade had placed him in the first rank 
of American merchants. Such in outline was the course 
of commercial triumph described by Washington Irving 
in his Astoria ; it made Jacob Astor's descendants great 
captains of industry among their contemporaries, and 
more than the rivals of crowned heads in their wealth. 

Once resolved on purchasing the Pall Mall, Jacob 
Astor's great-grandson showed characteristic sagacity and 
independence in choosing his editor. Fleet Street in the 
nineties was begiiming to be overrun by clever young 
men, often of United States extraction, ready to guarantee 
their creation of a greater boom than had ever yet been 
known to the newspaper capitalist who would take them 
into his pay. Such applications were received by Mr. 
Astor with noncommitting courtesy. It so happened that 
in 1892 there returned to London from his Allahabad 
judgeship a man still in the prime of life who, during 
his earlier London days, had doubled the part of 
litterateur and journalist with distinguished success. This 



260 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

was Sir Douglas Straight. Like many more, he had 
found in periodical letters an agreeable and efifective 
stepping-stone to law. In 1865 he had made himself the 
best known, brightest, readiest, and smartest advocate 
at the Criminal Bar. Entering Parliament for the 
borough which first returned Benjamin Disraeli— Shrews- 
bury — he served his party as well as he had done his 
clients, and received really less reward than was his due 
by the place given him, the Indian judicature. Re- 
established in his native land, he returned to his first 
literary love ; with the already mentioned Mr. Marwood 
Tucker as occasional assistant, he became Mr. Astor's 
earliest editor. Once more the Pali Mall Gazette 
promised to be what Greenwood had left it. Its Con- 
servatism was strengthened by its new conductor's wide 
knowledge of the world, cheerful courtesy, unfailing tact, 
clear, powerful brain. Since then Sir Douglas Straight's 
successor has prosperously run the paper on the lines 
which Greenwood originally laid down. Mr. F. J. 
Higginbottom, indeed, was connected with the Pall Mall 
before the Straight editorship began ; he always " took 
charge " during Sir Douglas Straight's holiday, and on 
his final retirement was obviously the one man fitted to 
be his successor. 

One of Greenwood's contemporaries on that veritably 
epoch-making little sheet, the Illustrated Times, in a 
journalistic field widely different from Greenwood's, was 
to win a place among the newspaper founders that were 
onvi pf the nineteenth century's most characteristic 
products, and to make himself in the periodical press, 
in his particular line, not less of an enduring force than 
the rnan who brought the Pall Mall Gazette into being. 
Connected by both his parents with the stage, as well 
as himself endowed with the histrionic temperament, 
Edmund Yates had been brought up carefully and 
devotedly by his mother, and through her efforts secured 
a thoroughly good education, first at Highgate School, 
afterwards as a student both at Diisseldorf and at 
Bonn. Combining great intellectual acuteness with a 
real love of letters, he had made himself a fair English 
scholar before, while still a lad, getting a Post Office 
clerkship. At St. Martin's -le -Grand he showed aptitudes 
which secured him quick promotion, and eventually made 



GREENWOOD TO LABOUCHERE 261 

him head of the Missing Letter Department. While thus 
climbing the ofificial ladder, he picked up a good deal 
which Dickens found useful for Hoasehbld Words essays, 
and which gave Yates himself many ideas for the most 
telling effects in his novels. It has been said that these 
novels were largely written for him by Mrs. Cashel 
Hoey. This is pure fable. Intimate acquaintance with 
Mrs. Hoey and with Yates gave the present writer the 
opportunity of hearing a detailed denial of the statement 
from both. No one who had heard Edmund Yates talk 
can ever have credited the report ; for the best things 
in his stories had generally come out in his conversation 
before they were put down on paper, and were of exactly 
the same kind as few people were long in his company 
without hearing. Take, for an instance, this fromi Broken 
to Harness, or Running the Gauntlet : "To pay a trades- 
man to whom a long account is owing a five-pound note 
on account is like giving a wet brush to a very old hat. 
It creates a temporary gleam of comfort, and no more." 
The one person who had placed Yates under any literary 
obligation was that snaartest and wittiest phrase -maker of 
the later Cockney school, Albert Smith, whose journalism 
did not go beyond a feuilleton. The Pottteton Legacy, in 
the short-lived London Telegraph, but who left btehind 
him a store of cleverish expressions that remained current 
in Fleet Street to the close of the nineteenth century, and 
that Shirley Brooks found he could usefully brush up and 
improve on for his Punch work as well as sometimes 
for his novels and plays. Between 1816 and i860 it was 
Albert Smith who first set going through Fleet Street 
and the entire newspaper region many droll or happy 
verbal twists and turns, wrongly attributed to the earlier 
Douglas Jerrold period and Jerrold himself. In the 
Illustrated Times Vizetelly had assigned Yates a weekly 
column of gossip, headed The Lounger at the Clubs. 
That was continued by the same pen in a little sheet 
called Town Talk. Here appeared the remarks never, 
indeed, worth making, but in reality much less offensive 
than their garbled repetition has caused them to seem, 
that made Thackeray the young man's enetny. As a 
fact the novelist would not have pursued the matter but 
for Dickens's championship of Yates. The authors of 
David Copperfield and Pendennis were just then more 



262 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

than usually estranged from each other. They now 
engaged in a sort of duel over the person, or rather the 
pen, of Edmund Yates. During the sixties, under Justin 
McCarthy's editorship of the Star, Yates was pursuing 
his vocation in its columns by a weekly contribution of 
purely personal talk, entitled the Fldneur. In 1865 
Greenwood had started the Pall Mall Gazette, and had 
invited James Hannay, then fresh from editing the Edin- 
burgh Courant, to join its staff. The occasion, in Yates's 
view, justified a " drop into poetry, " to the following 
effect : — 

' ' Then answered the flineur, the flineur always right, 
' The banner of George Smithins comes looming into sight 
And with him shadowy Elder, who never yet was seen, 
And Frederick Margaret Denzil ' of the Comhill Magazine. 
I hear of blood and culture ; I hear of pleb and cad ; 
Hear men and potent tumblers enquiring ' ' Who's your dad ? " 
That jolly old cock Cicero falls blithely on mine ear. 
And how of Titus Livius some books were lost, I hear ; 
I hear of or and argent, of real tap and of brain, 
And Jigger of the Dodo ° comes back to us again. ' " 

Edmund Yates had wider views, a more comprehensive 
understanding than to project a mere society paper, or 
to suppose that disjointed paragraphs of chit-chat, such 
as he had served up in his Flaneur, could form the staple 
of the weekly that he intended should appeal at various 
points and with a certainty of success to the general public, 
which, he justly considered, had not yet been catered for 
in its lighter tastes. A little weekly to which he had 
contributed or even edited, the Court Circular, had, 
he thought, missed ari opportunity by neglecting 
suburban or provincial readers and professing to recog- 
nise only the polite classes. The youngest of the k 
Beckett family, Arthur, had, indeed, in the Tomahawk, 
1866, come nearer to Yates's scheme, which was to com- 
bine the best literary features of the Saturday Review 
or Pall Mall with original effects of humour, satire, social 
or official intelligence or rumour that had entertained a 
narrow circle in the exclusive Owl. That little sheet had 
been started in the middle sixties by Algernon Borthwick 
of the Morning Post, James Stuart Wortley, and Evelyn 

' The Adventures of Margaret Denzil was the title of a novel by Greenwood. 
' A character in one of Hannay's nautical stories. 



GREENWOOD TO LABOUCHERE 263 

Ashley. Lawrence Oliphant wrote only in the first few 
numbers. Lord Wharncliffe wrote in all, Mr. Thomas Gibson 
Bowles wrote occasionally. The Owl can scarcely be 
looked back upon as a serious undertaking, for it appeared 
at uncertain intervals as suited its writers' convenience or 
whim. Though contributions were not gratuitous, it became 
almost a point of honour to spend the money thus paid 
on Greenwich and Richmond dinners, or on presents to 
friends. Still the paper only dropped when the future 
Lord Glenesk ceased to be a bachelor, and found his 
hands full of other matters ; but for that it might, as 
some of its indirect offshoots have done and are doing, 
have continued to this day. His co-operation with 
Frederick Clay on h. Beckett's Tomahawk and his occa- 
sional contributions to the Owl inspired Mr. T. G. Bowles 
with the notion of Vanity Fair, the real parent of all 
subsequent growths in that department of journalism 
at a date when it seemed as fashionable to run a weekly 
sheet for one's friends as to endow a theatre for one's 
mistress. In this venture Mr. Bowles showed the dynamic 
qualities colloquially comprehended in the word " devil " 
that, after nearly half a century, cause the paper still to 
bear the literary and intellectual hall-mark with which he 
stamped it. In Vanity Fair Thomas Gibson Bowles and 
Carlo Pellegrini formed the same successful conjunction 
that in opera boufle was presented by the co-operation 
of W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. The two 
colleagues in each instance inspired one another. In the 
case of the newspaper the commentator not only explained 
the cartoonist, but imparted to his letterpress a flavour 
then entirely new to the periodical press. Since then the 
paper has known every sort of change. It has never quite 
lost the secret of the style first invented for it by Mr. 
Bowles. He also not only brought in the society journal 
as an institution : he invented its very name. The two 
other men who in this department displayed an initiative, 
a vigour, an originality of pen as of management, were 
Mr. Henry Labouchere and the consummate stylist who 
journalistically owed something to his experience under 
Dickens on Household Words, E. C. Grenville Murray. 
The second Duke of Buckingham' and Chandos used to be 
known as "very duke of very duke." He it was who, 
at the beginning of his money troubles, consulted one of 



264 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

his owtt order. The friend, going through the household 
expenditure, suggested that at least one Italian confec- 
tioner might be put down. " What ! " exclaimed his 
Grace ; " mayn't a man have a biscuit with his glass of 
sherry?" In August, 1848, came the crash at Stow, 
with whose echoes Europe rang, followed by the 
sale of its treasures. Left with the merest pittance, the 
ruined Duke's reputed son had gained command of a 
literary style possessed by no one else and opening to him 
almost on his own terms the newspaper world. His 
fifteen years of diplomatic experience and of cosmo- 
politan vagabondage set him up in literary material for 
the rest of his life. His novel. Young Brown, in the 
Cornhill Magazine, introduced him' to Greenwood, and 
produced the same kind of rare effect aS also followed 
Lawrence Oliphant's Piccadilly and Mr. W. H. MalloCk's 
New Republic. In the story he caricatured his ducal 
sire ; in his shorter pieces he lampooned the official 
personages, at home or abroad, of whom he had fallen 
foul. Under circumstances so familiar already to those 
likely to be interested in them that they need not be dwelt 
on here, the most scurrilous and the least lively print for 
which he ever had any responsibility, the Queen's 
Messenger, died of a scandal that caused his departure 
for ever from England, and fixed his residence during 
the rest of his life in Paris. 

He and others now classed with him liave been accused 
of Americanising the English newspaper. As little, how- 
ever, as the men who started the Owl did Arthur h. 
Beckett in the Tomahawk, Mr. T. G. Bowles in Vanity 
Fair, or even Murray himself in the Queen's Messenger, 
take any transatlantic print for a model. The newspapers 
chiefly in the mind of each of these were not those of New 
York but of Paris. The proceeds of a United States 
lecturing tour helped Edmund Yates to Start the World ; 
some fresh notions were given him for it by the several 
shrewd friends he had made on the other side of the 
Atlantic, more particularly Samuel Ward and Henry 
Weikoffj both of them in their day scarcely less influential 
with the British press than with that of the United 
States. The chief lines, however, on which Yates pre- 
pared and ran his paper were those laid down by Mr. 
Bowles in Vanity Fair, or were suggested by those former 



GREENWOOD TO LABOUCHERE 265 

experiences in Vizetelly'a Illustrated Times which had 
taught Greenwood not a little for the Pall Mall Gazette. 
Like Murray and Sala a pupil of Dickens, Yates, when 
preparing his " journal for men and women," aimed 
at producing a miscellany for suburban and provincial 
entertainment or instruction quite as much as a com- 
pilation of on dits from St. James's or Mayfair. In his 
best efforts he had effective help from, for a time, Mr. 
Labouchere, as well as from B. H. Becker, H. S. Pearse, 
H. D. Traill, W. L. Courtney, Ralph Earle, Kosmo 
Wilkinson, and others. But as commercially the paper 
made him, so he was indispensable to the paper, 
nor could it be expected entirely to recover from- 
the shock of his death. If Mr. Henry Labouchere 
sometimes reached an even wider circulation with Truth 
than Edmund Yates with the World, never was public 
more variously representative than that which Yates 
appealed to with unfailing success, because he ever had 
his own finger on its pulse. Grenville Murray's literary 
gift was So entirely his own, and at the same time so 
stimulating in its effects upon those with whom he might 
be associated, that his original interest in the World could 
not but be of as much importance to the writing which 
appeared in the paper as his capital had been useful to 
it at its beginnings. The assistance supplied by an 
American friend named Phythian enabled Yates, at a 
much earlier date than had been supposed, to buy out 
Murray's share entirely. Nor was the loss of Murray's 
pen so Serious that its withdrawal was not more than com- 
pensated by Mr. Henry Labouchere's sensational City 
articles, together with his attack upon the West End 
usurers. These new features owed something of their 
literary form to the animating example of Grenville 
Murray's style. As, however, he was soofl to show in his 
own Truth, Mr. Labouchere combined with his unique 
insight into the frauds, failures, fallacies and facts of 
finance and commerce a command of clear, concise, 
nervous expression, of which, as the "Besieged Resident," 
he gave proof in the Daily News during the seventies, 
and which, by its subsequently sustained display through- 
out successive years in Truth, raised him, as a journalistic 
and literary force, to a place scarcely below that due to 
Grenville Murray. 



CHAPTER XI 

A GLADSTONIAN FORECAST FULFILLED 

Gladstone on the Paper Duty's Repeal — Forerunners of the English cheap press 
— The first London halfpenny print — The founder of the Echo and his staff 
— The Morning Leader — Mr. T. P. O'Connor on platform and in press — 
The union of art and periodical literature — Rise of the great newspaper 
capitalists — ^the Harmsworths — Competition with Tit-Bits — Work in ex- 
tending the cheap press — Methods of the new journalism — All-embracing 
enterprise at home and abroad — The Harmsworths as pioneer colonists — 
Weeding out — Mr. Pearson in the Tit-Bits office — Striking out for himself — 
Among the great newspaper owners — The Lloyd press — Lloyd's Weekly 
News — The Daily Chronicle and its makers — The first illustrated " daily" — 
The Graphic's enterprise. 

From the newspaper men who made society journalism, 
and with whom Gladstone was not generally a favourite, 
we may pass to a prediction of Gladstone himself and 
to those who have been instrumental in fulfilling it. 
" The paper duty is gone. For the full results of its 
removal men must wait until we of the nineteenth century 
are no more." So said Gladstone to his friend Sidney 
Herbert during the July of 1861, shortly after the last 
of the " taxes on knowledge " had been repealed. 
Herbert died on August 2, 1861 ; had his life been 
spared till the following October, he would have seen 
the enlightening legislation he had supported followed 
by a reduction in price of three great journals. His 
friend Gladstone was to have two more years of office 
when, as Prime Minister, he saw the beginning of the 
further consequences which he had always anticipated 
as the sequel of the paper duty's abolition. The 
foundation in 1896 of a fresh journalistic dynasty by 
the first Barori Northcliffe was preceded in 1892 by the 
earliest morning newspaper sold for a halfpenny, the 
Morning Leader. This was not the only preparation of the 



A GLADSTONIAN FORECAST 267 

soil found by Lord Northcliflfe and his family in the field 
of journalistic enterprise that they have m&de particularly 
their own. The source and originating inspiration of the 
society journal in its best shape was, it has been seen, 
French rather than American. So, too, with the half- 
penny newspaper. So far back as 1H61 the Petit 
Journal's founders had shown in Paris the possibility 
of producing a daily broadsheet for a sou. WThy should 
there not be at least attempted in England that which 
had been carried out so triumphantly in France, was the 
question that T. D. Galpin had begim seriously to ask 
while engaged with John Francis, of the Athenceum, 
as Mr. Wentworth Dilke's representative, in the attack 
on the paper duty. John Cassell's fine presence and 
imposing manner may have somewhat overshadowed his 
business associates. Galpin, however, was the life and 
soul of the journalistic experiment to which, on his 
suggestion. La Belle Sauvage Yard committed itself in 
1868. The Petit Journal, with its circulation of 840,000, 
formed only one among several auspicious signs. On his 
own side of the Channel Galpin had seen GlaSg;ow and 
other provincial capitals prosperously bringing out their 
halfpenny epitome of the world's contemporary record 
from sunrise to sunset. The Ludgate Hill house, which 
had become to London what the Chambers family had 
made itself in Edinburgh, carried out their task with the 
omens all in their favour. Sir Arthur Arnold not only 
conducted the new sheet ; he made the Echo office an 
instructive and stimulating school of journalism. There 
he gave their earliest training, in the craft of which 
they afterwards became masters, to William Black 
the novelist as well as the great literary pillar of the 
Daily News, Frances Power Cobbe, the aesthetic divine 
H. R. Haweis, George Byrom' Curtis, subsequently editor 
of the Standard, Sir John Macdonell, who had previously 
worked for Alexander Russel on the Scotsman, and who, 
before reaching his present Mastership of the Supreme 
Court, had, like his brother James, been a principal writer 
for the Times. Other pens employed by Arnold to 
establish his success were those of George Manville Fenn 
and E. D. J. Wilson, who, during Chenery's editorship, 
denounced, as nearly as might be in the manner of 
Edmund Burke, the iniquities in Irish policy of the new 



268 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Whigs, arid, instructed by the then Mr. Edward Gibson 
and Mr. David Plunket, daily unmasked sonae fresh 
phase of the unholy alliance between Gladstonian Liberals 
and Anglo-Irish separatists. Arthur Arnold's gifts were 
of the safe, homely kind, but the material brought to his 
hand by his pupils made him conspicuous among the 
editors of his time, and associated the Echo with almost 
as many journalistic reputations subsequently great as at 
an earlier day were struggling to the birth on Vizetelly's 
lUtistrated Times. Arnold could command, when he 
wanted it, the energetic help of one who, in due course, 
became his successor before, as his right-hand man, he 
joined Mr. Labouchere on Truth — Horace Voules, a 
memorable specimen of the new journalism in its most 
practical and propulsive aspects, equally able on an 
lemergency to write printer's copy and to set it up 
himself. He had been from the first indispensable to, 
or rather a portion of, Arnold's editorship of the Echo. 
When he left that paper he was called in by Mr. Yates 
Thompson to engineer the Pall Mall Gazette's transition 
from the Greenwood to the Morley regime. In a word, 
the most universal utility man known to the press in his 
day, and as " good at need " as Scott's Walter Deloraine 
himself. As for the Echo's first titular editor, Arthur 
Arnold, notwithstanding the absence of any kinship 
with the Rugby Arnolds, he, like his brother Edwin, 
displayed, as journalistic trainer, much of the didactic 
power that Thomas Arnold transmitted to at least two 
of his sons . In other words, both the poetic elder 
brother, Edwin, on the Daily Telegraph, and the more 
prosaic but thoroughly capable Arthur on the Echo, as 
writers or editors had much to do with the makirig of 
at least a dozen of first-rate newspaper hands. Especially 
were Arthur Arnold's pupils noted throughout a whole 
generation for the sure-footedness of their advance from 
paragraph to paragraph in the column or so that they 
were expected to fill. 

This little band of diligent toilers found no successors 
exactly of their own kind till the unjustly forgotten or 
ignored group, combining in its members literary taste 
and business powers, presented the world (1892) with 
the Echo's earliest matutinal successor at the same price. 
The Morning Leader in its beginnings was brought into 



A GLADSTONIAN FORECAST 269 

contact at one or two points with one of the most notice- 
able figures in the periodical literature of his time, and 
in this way. Mr. Ernest Parke was the foremost member 
of a company which owned the Star, no relation or 
remote descendant from the older organ of that name 
mentioned on an earlier page, but that once edited by 
Mr. T. P. O'Connor. On the Star premises Mr. Parke 
and his colleagues originated the Morning Leader, This 
paper was of Eastern Counties origin ; for its earliest 
managing director. Sir F. W. Wilson, knighted in 1907, 
had a friend and supporter in J. J. Colm.an, of Norwich 
and mustard celebrity. The Norwich association proved 
of happy omen for the paper ; Mr. Colman's son-in-law, 
Professor Stuart, of whom more presently, became to 
it a source of intellectual strength. Since then its com- 
mercial position has received no little benefit from the 
interest taken in the Morning Leader by the two great 
cocoa houses of Cadbury and Rowntree. But in Mr. 
Parke's newspaper properties Mr. T. P. O'Connor's suc- 
cessful industry and extraordinary personal endowments 
had given him certain rights. At any rate an indemnity 
amounting to some thousands was found to be his due 
before he and his operations established themselves 
beneath a new roof. Since then this gifted Irishman 
has continually filled a larger place in the popular eye 
than perhaps any other purveyor of the new journalism 
or the old. Several of his compatriots crossed St. 
George's Channel and established themselves in London 
at the same time and with the same ambition as Mr. 
O'Connor. In respect of education and aptitudes these may 
have been his equals, as well grounded in the Greek and 
Latin classics and in historical knowledge as himself, 
perhaps almost as well read in French and German 
literature. They differed from him, however, in being 
without his own mental or spiritual inner life. With him 
each fresh subjective experience formed a new crisis. 
His adventures in philosophy and metaphysics contained 
the materials of a romance which he might have worked 
up into something like Disraeli's Contarini Fleming, into 
the more reflective and less sensuous passages of Bulwer- 
Lytton's Falkland, or into a new series of the same 
romancist's Student and Caxtoniana. And, indeed, to a 
certain extent, this is what he actually did. His best 



270 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

writing has given him a hold on the public because it is 
his own individual record transfigured. So far as honest 
study and downright hard work could contribute to such 
an end, his successes have based themselves on a solid 
foundation of intellectual self-discipline, of systematic 
reading and connected thought. In writing an essay or 
an article, as in planning and launching a new enterprise, 
he has formed a distinct and generally, fresh idea, 
complete in all its parts, before putting it into execution. 
Whether on the platform' or in the press, he won the 
applause of stalls and boxes before he brought down the 
gallery. His maiden speech at Westminster drew from 
John Bright not only praise, but a wish to be made 
personally acquainted with the speaker. It has been the 
same with his newspaper pen. ' T. P." has long since 
become more of a popular favourite and even celebrity 
than " G. A. S." (George Augustus Sala) ever really found 
himself. At the same time, however, he has combined 
with a good opinion of the multitude the appreciation 
reserved by experts in newspaper business for brains 
that can always turn themselves into capital. With the 
Morning Leader he had nothing to do except receive 
the already mentioned compensation for disturbance. Of 
others concerned in that venture, the best known and the 
most inspiring was Professor Stuart. Returned for 
Hoxton in 1885, this academical ally of the new 
journalistn had already distinguished himself not only 
by his services to University Extension, but, as professor 
of mechanism, by showing that manual industry has a 
science of its own which hiay make it the handmaid 
of the most genuine culture. 

The tenth year of the twentieth century saw Mr. T. P. 
O'Connor in his monthly magazine find a place for art 
as well as literature. So far back as the sixties something 
of the same kind had been done for the comic press by 
the man whose father sang the Song of the Shirt. Thomas 
Hood's son went through Oxford at the college which its 
most famous product, Samuel Johnson, called a " nest of 
singing birds." This description, seeing how many 
minor poets were on its staff in the sixties, was at least 
as well deserved by the War Office, where, on leaving 
Pembroke, Tom Hood became a clerk. In 1865 he gave 
up this position to undertake the editorship of Fun, 



A GLADSTONIAN FORECAST 271 

which, with the idea that it might be Ufted out of the 
gutter, had been recently purchased by a friend of his 
named Wyland, and for which Hood himself found, in 
Paul Gray, T. Morten, and Gordon Thomlpson, artists till 
then unknown, whose cartoons or small cuts soon 
accustomed the penny public to drawings blending fresh- 
ness and grace with humour and fun . Wath not a little of 
his father's literary genius, Hood combined much of his 
ear for rhythm, for rhyme, and his intellectual refinement 
generally. No mean hand himself at serio-comic verse, 
he discovered for his new paper several who surpassed 
him in such compositions and whose vers de societe need 
not have dreaded comparison with Frederick Locker's 
gems. Of that company there survived till quite recently 
Sir W. S. Gilbert, who, as a member of Tom Hood's' 
staff, wrote most of his Bab Ballads and, in Christmas 
numbers, presented the germ of Dr . Dulcamara • and 
perhaps other burlesques. Hood himself, having before 
this brought out Artemus Ward, Arthur Sketchley as 
" Mrs. Brown," and Wi. J. Prowse as " Nicholas," intro- 
duced in an essay Bret Harte to the English public ^ 
Never writing down to Fun's earlier purchasers, he 
really initiated in his paper something of the educa- 
tional service to be rendered afterwards by Mr. T. P. 
O'Connor. 

From the actual literary guides and ornaments of the 
existing press, or their forerunners, the transition is now 
to the giants and the capitalists, whose operations on! 
it the present generation has witnessed. Of the twd 
brothers, Alfred and Cecil Harmsworth, the younger is 
naturally the less known. Neither in ability, courage, 
nor resource need he shun comparison with any of his 
line. Each, indeed, from the first has been the com- 
plement of the other. Their co-operation has combined 
the qualities of thoughtful prescience, careful provision 
for possible risks, guarantees against failures not certainly 
to be foreseen, and an intrepidity of enterprise based on 
the principle that nothing succeeds like success. Had 
they wanted a motto, they might have found it in the 
Virgilian aphorism that to create the impression of power 

» First produced in 1866 at the St. James's Theatre, under Frank Matthew's 
management, on the same night that Henry Irving played, with Miss Hel-bert, 
in Hunted Down. 



272 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

is to master the secret of success. In a word, both the 
Harmsworth brothers have shown themselves the two first 
Hving masters o"f newspaper business in all its depart- 
ments. George Newnes, it has been seen, from much 
the same beginnings as Daniel Defoe, actually adapted 
Defoe's tactics to modern conditions. Tihe Harmsworths 
found their most stimulating exemplar in the man who 
was Defoe's latter-day analogue. The two brothers were 
still youths when they emulated their predecessor's Tit- 
Bits with their own Answers. This soon achieved such 
prosperity, and struck out its roots in so many different 
directions, that it seemed the natural thing to turn it into 
a company. At this time, too, the Echo, a9 an evening 
paper, sold for the twenty-fourth part of a shilling, 
then belonging to Passmore Edwards, of public library 
fame, practically was without a rival in its own field ; 
and the Echo's continued popularity arose from its being 
a little print, largely composed of short paragraphs. 
Its one competitor, the Evening News, had, from its 
founder's point of view, fulfilled its mission when it 
secured him the promise of a baronetcy, though death 
prevented him from ever himself wearing the title. Cole- 
ridge Kennard, to whom the Evening News belonged, 
knew nothing of journalistic management, and had to 
think of his parliamentary constituents as well as of his 
paper. Meanwhile the Echo's circulation became so 
languid that it might at any moment have stopped. The 
Harmsworths saw their first great opportunity^. Hitherto 
theirs had been the day of small things. Their luckiest 
strokes of newspaper business were with comparatively 
obscure provincial prints and a great variety of trade 
journals, of which jjie general public knew nothing, but 
which to their proprietors had been veritable gold mines. 
In 1896 came the first great opening that wag to unite 
for them fortune and fame. Coleridge Kennard lay sick 
unto death ; bis journal's condition seemed scarcely more 
hopeful. The Harmsworth brothers bought the Evening 
News practically at their own price. That formed the 
earliest of the family feats on a great scale, but was 
only one among the many proofs given of keen insight 
into the needs and opportunities offered by the humbler 
section of the middle class. Their little papers, the 
Sunday Companion, Home Chat, served as stepping-stones 



A GLADSTONIAN FORECAST 273 

to the greater venture of the Evening News. Their 
smaller enterprises appealed to an immense, and so far 
a largely neglected class. Following the example set by 
the houses of Chambers and Cassell, the Harmsworths 
handled the cheap press as an educational interest. The 
indefinitely growing multitude of office boys, junior clerks 
of both sexes, presented a stratum thus far almost un- 
tapped. It has been already mentioned that the Daily 
Telegraph owed something of the vogue created by its 
leading articles to those compositions into which was 
skilfully condensed the latest knowledge about natural 
science, English history or literature. That hint had not 
been thrown away upon the whole class of periodical 
projectors. The Harmsworths now attracted a more 
variously composed crowd of searchers after knowledge 
than had as yet been considered by any literary caterers 
for the million. 

In doing this, they incidentally created a novel branch 
of literary employment. They supplied on their own 
premises an answer, partial, indeed, but so far as it 
went practical, to the chronic parental question. What 
are we to do with our boys ? In any direction and of 
any kind required by their newspapers, the Harmsworths 
could of course successfully bid for the best literary 
talent in the market. At the same time they contrived 
to utilise the industry, of a legion of well-educated lads 
who, with wits sufficiently sharp, combined a certain 
amount of literary taste. These were glad to find an 
employment not of the merely m'echanical kind, which 
would prove not less pleasant and perhaps profitable 
than electrical engineering or the wine trade. The pro- 
cesses of transforming ox carcasses into diminutively 
nutritious tabloids supply an army of workers with their 
livelihood. Homeopathic doses of useful knowledge 
cannot be scattered broadcast in paragraphs through 
the land without the preliminary co-operation of many 
different staffs, each performing! different functions in 
abstract making, precis writing, distributed among 
them, and cognate tasks, however insignificant, allotted 
to each individual worker. For the first time in the 
history of the periodical press the Harmsworths did 
parents and guardians a good turn by taking on youthful 
out-of-works as hands in the manufacture of the literary 

18 



274 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

pemmican that formed a whole section of their journa- 
listic establishment. 

From the halfpenny Evening, News to a morning sheet 
of the same price would, many experts predicted, prove 
a short and sure stride towards bankruptcy. By the 
time it had turned out a success beyond precedent, 
death had removed Gladstone, who had always foreseen 
and believed in halfpenny newspapers on the same 
principle that he advocated universal third-class railway 
carriages. The Harmsworths, however, have done a great 
deal more than bring literature and the latest intelligence to 
every workman's door. In October, 1910, they delighted 
their polite admirers by the zeal with which, they fore- 
stalled their contemporaries in some details concerning 
the Portuguese Revolution. The price, one halfpenny, 
may indeed have made their sheet the joy and teacher of 
the millions. Their tactful, if occasionally tempered, 
support of Tariff Reform, and their instinctive advocacy 
of much that smacks politically of reactionary Toryism 
have secured their daily print as warm a welcome in 
the most modish of suburban parlours and West -end 
boudoirs as at the breakfast -tables of industrial bread- 
winners in latitudes less fashionable. So with the Bank 
Holiday makers, with whom the seaside outing would 
lack its true flavour if the inhalation of the sea breeze 
were not alternated with glances at the Daily Mirror, the 
earliest and for long the only illustrated halfpenny sheet, 
with which the Harmsworths even outdid themselves. 
Where the Harmsworth ownership did not extend, the 
Harmsworth influence was to permeate ; it made itself 
felt on the greatest da^Iy paper the world has ever 
seen, the Times, and on the best of the Sunday papers, 
the Observer. Meanwhile the Harmsworth capital had 
brought into the family what was once known for the 
most considerable of the society press, the World. In 
the provinces, too, these gentlemen have acquired 
journals so long identified with private interests and 
hereditary owners as, not long since, to be considered 
beyond the possibility of outside purchase. 

Considerate or generous dealing with the rank and file 
of their workers is a well -maintained tradition among 
the capitalists of the English press. It has not suffered 
in the hands lOf those who have most recently entered 



A GLADSTONIAN FORECAST 275 

that body, and with that Northcliffe combination which 
has already gone some way towards dividing with the 
Pearson firm sovereign control over some two -thirds 
of the entire press area. During the sixties the Daily 
Telegraph had a graceful and accomplished writer, 
already mentioned, W. J. Prowse. The manifestation 
or threat of lung! disease caused his proprietors to send 
him to the Riviera. This example has been followed 
more than once by the owners of the Daily Mail, who, 
when one of their workers, falling sick, has been ordered 
to the Engadine, have made the prescription (practic- 
able by presenting the invalid with a return ticket for 
Davos Platz and a cheque for his hotel bill. Mr. 
John St. Loe Strachey himself and his Spectator 
disciples have not been more strenuously patriotic than 
the Messrs. Harmsworth in supporting the rifle club 
movement and in sending it recruits from their own 
premises. Neither that, however, nor the unfailing 
imperialism of their newspaper constitutes the only 
claim of these gentlemen to be considered pillars of the 
empire. The overseas dominions of Great Britain have, 
like its newspaper system, been built up and consoli- 
dated largely, if not entirely, by private enterprise. Even 
Mr. Joseph Chamberlain's concern for the territories 
which he officially administered between 1895 and 1903 
had 'drawn strength and fervour in the first instance from 
his own and his family interest in some of our Pacific 
Islands . 

Mr. Chamberlain himself had ceased to be Colonial 
Secretary when the Newfoundland Government desired 
to open up for commerce, if not for cultivation, the 
waste or unused grounds. Effectually to do that capital 
on a large scale had to be introduced. The Newfound- 
landers were, therefore, in the position of men who had 
informally addressed an advertisement to capitalists 
generally throughout the world, but not to any particular 
combination. The Harms worths were as those who had 
seen this advertisement. To answer it and to turn the 
opportunities it offered to the best account lay in the 
regular business path of newspaper men who wished 
to buy in the cheapest market material for their papers. 
The Lloyds presently to be mentioned were the first 
newspaper owners to employ the cheap paper made of 



276 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

esparto grass. The Harmsworths were conversant with 
the art of making paper out of wood pulp. Newfound- 
land abounded in trees suitable for that purpose. It was 
thus primarily as paper manufacturers that the men of 
the Daily Mail first thought of establishing themselves 
in Newfoundland. The conditions imder which they 
obtained leave to do so were sufficiently stringent as 
well as protective of native or other rights. On a lease of 
ninety-nine years, the land received by the Harmsworths 
amounted to two thousand square miles, held at lan 
annual rent of a trifle under £800, and upon terms not 
less advantageotis to the Newfoundlanders than to the 
Harmsworths. The privileges of the new tenants were 
the power compulsorily to acquire such fresh land jas 
might be necessary for opening their way to the sea, 
or for securing internal communications, freedom from 
municipal taxation, the importation of the mills and 
plant used in manufacturing wood pulp and paper frfee 
of duty. Whenever it became necessary to renew the 
old machinery, the fresh plant was not to enjoy any 
exemption from impost. At every point precautions were 
taken against the lessees' abuse of the benefits they 
received. They were to make a yearly return of the 
trees they cut down, as well as of the specific results in 
pulp or paper obtained. Local interests and a healthy 
stimulus to native industry and commerce were insured 
by a clause providing against any wholesale export of 
Newfoundland timber, and providing that the entire yield 
of the Newfoundland forests should be manufactured 
into paper or pulp upon Newfoundland soil. Stringent 
measures were also taken to prevent excessive or 
dangerous deforestation. A right of way through the 
Harmsworth lands was guaranteed for all who had 
occasion to use it. From this it will be seen that the 
Harmsworths really entered into an industrial partnership 
with the natives and inhabitants of the island.' 

Such are the facts and such the explanation of the 
Harmsworth activities in the North Atlantic. At home 
their capital and energy, when employed in buying up, 
partially, if not entirely, esta,blished journals, have seldom 

" See Cap. lo of 1905, confirming a lease, dated January 12, 1905, of a great 
portion of the Exploits River basin to the Anglo-Newfoundland Development 
Company. 



A GLADSTONIAN FORECAST 277 

been prompted by a wish for the advancement of any- 
political propaganda. They have chiefly or entirely aimed 
at clearing the ground of sheets that, as has happened 
chiefly in the case of their provincial enterprises, they 
think it well to weed out from the soil selected for their 
own journalistic extensions, or that, as happened with the 
Evening News, they propose galvanising into life and 
success. In certain contingencies it is as natural for 
a newspaper to chang'e hands, and in doing so to undergo 
a transformation more or less complete, as it is for 
a ship to be wrecked or a theatre to be burnt. A broad- 
sheet with a history yields a steadily increasing, or at 
least not diminishing, income and influence to its owner . 
Under these circumstances it is not likely to find its 
way into the market. The men who g;ave the paper its 
character and influence disappear. Their methods have 
gone out of date ; the journal itself can only be pre- 
served if it is wholly or in part re-creajted by ne|w 
capital and by new minds as well. For in a mechanical 
age like the present there comes over the conditions of 
daily life and the political ideas of men some chang'e 
to which the past affords no parallel. It is as though 
the descendants of a great newspaper's founders seem^ 
to have lived into not only a new epoch but a new world, 
wherein no guidance or safety can be derived from the 
principles which once formed the pole stars of the pritit. 
Unless the old stock have among' its latest representatives 
a really gteat, courageous, and original intellect, capable 
of adapting old traditions to new emergencies, the journa- 
listic heirloom becomes a kind of white elephant, to 
be disposed of to the highest bidder. Such were the 
conditions actually realised or in course of fulfilment by 
the standard when, in the nineteenth century's closing 
years, the third of the great newspaper powers still 
flourishing, that of the Pearson name, surpassed all former 
achievements by annexing Shoe Lane to its empire. 

Among the most regular purchasers of Tit-Bits in 
the Wimbledon district during the eighties was a City 
clerk, living with or frequently the guest of his father, 
who had a Surrey benefice not far from Wimbledon 
Common. This clergyman had given his son a public 
school education at Winchester, where he had done well, 
learning something of books, but a great deal more of 



278 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

human character and life. The lad had gone into busi- 
ness, not V from any special aptitude for the work, but 
because there presented itself an opening too good to 
neglect. His future career, however, was to be decided 
and directed by his most frequent purchase at the subur- 
ban bookstall before taking the train for town. He 
found a special attraction in the various competitions 
that his fajvourite paper had, as already said, been ,the 
first to introduce. Many years before then, indeed, 
during the early youth of the penny press, a casual 
correspondent of the Daily Telegraph named Kelly dis- 
played such extraordinary vigilance jn detecting petty 
errors in each impression that the proprietors engaged 
him as one of their proof revisers. Mr. Cyril Arthur 
Pearson's score in the part of CEdipus to the Southamp- 
ton Street Sphinx stood so persistently high that Newnes 
determined to give him a berth on his paper. The 
time, however, of course came when Mr. Pearson saw 
no reason why he should not set up for himself. With 
less difficulty perhaps than had been done by Newnes 
before him, he found the funds for starting Pearson's 
Weekly. Some time later the St. James's Gazette vicis- 
situdes already recounted were ended by its becoming 
Mr. Pearson's property, and it was, of course, incor- 
porated into the Evening Standard on the Shoe Lane 
property's acquisition by the gentleman whom Mr. 
Chamberlain dubbed the " champion hustler." Since 
then Fleet Street has heard many periodical predictions 
of Pearson or Harmsworth collapse. A reversion, ^t 
was from time to time and perhaps is still said, to the 
old regime must eventually prove inevitable. Writers, 
reporters, even printers, were either openly rebelling 
against the organisers of the new journalism, or were 
secretly disaffected towards them. Here one's concern is 
with facts as they are. The great majority of the public 
which the Standard made its own when held by the 
Johnstone family, so far not only clings to it, but sees 
no reason to be shocked by the transformation that the 
paper is said to have suffered. Under the Pearsons, 
indeed, as under the other latest Fleet Street dynasties, 
a clean sweep has been made of any remnant of the 
old staffs ; the work has been and is being done by 
fresh hands and in a new as well.^ no doubt, as a 



A GLADSTONIAN FORECAST 279 

better way. Abroad and at home Our Own Correspondents 
or article -writers are altered as frequently, or moved 
with as little warningf from one spot to another, as pastors 
on a Wesleyan circuit or the recipients of a call to a 
Congregational church. The sole practical test of merit 
in a newspaper is the payment of a handsome dividend. 
So long as that is forthcoming, it would be an impertinence 
to criticise the modes of editorship or management 
employed. Quick changes of the sort just described 
formerly would have been considered fatal to the indivi- 
dual journalist's chance of achieving distinction in his 
calling or influence with the public . Being, like Tristram 
Shandy's scullion, here to-day and there to-morrow, he 
may now entirely miss the opportunity afforded, under 
the old and anonymous system, of making himself of 
as much importance in his readers' eyes as the pro- 
prietor or conductor for whom he worked. Even, how- 
ever, with newspaper proprietors of such antiquity as 
the Lloyds, he would find himself no better off than with 
those who started only the day before yesterday. 

Here to the list of newspaper families, of whose 
members enough has already been said, an addition must 
be made in the latest members of the line which has so 
long had its quarters in Salisbury Square. There seems 
no connection between the Edward Lloyd who, in the 
seventeenth century, opened the City coffee-house that has 
given its name to the whole system of ship assurance and 
the Surrey farmer's son who, some hundred years after- 
wards, founded Lloyd's Weekly News, with, according to 
the traditional fiction, Douglas Jerrold for its first editor. 
That distinction really belongs to one named Ball, the 
wielder of a powerful pen, that won him early nineteenth- 
century fame with the vehement articles signed " Cen- 
sorius " in the Weekly Dispatch. Douglas Jerrold first 
filled the position at the age of forty-nine in 1852; between 
him and the first editor had come William Carpenter, 
a very notable figure among pamphleteers and minor 
authors, whose Peerage for the People long remained 
a democratic handbook, and who, with a courage equal 
to his convictions, suffered much in person and purse 
under the old press laws. Two years after the beginning 
of Douglas Jerrold 's editorship began the connection with 
the paper of Mr. Thomas Catling. This journalist, when 



280 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

both Jerrold and his son William, who succeeded him' as 
editor, had passed away, himself became responsible for 
Lloyd's Weekly News. Before his retirement, he raised 
the paper's circulation to close upon a million — the highest 
figure probably ever touched by a weekly print. On his 
death in 1890, Edward Lloyd settled all the newspaper 
properties in his own family, leaving the chief manage- 
ment to his four sons, of whom two, the eldest and the 
youngest, survive to-day. Meanwhile, while yet with 
fourteen years of life before him, Lloyd had bought in 
1876 the Clerkenwell News. It was one among the in- 
numerable sheets of purely local importance to be found 
in various metropolitan districts, and was at one time 
the organ of the watchmakers, long numerous in the 
Clerkenwell region. A clever, genial, upright, and able 
Irishman, Robert Whelan Boyle, had begtin his London 
training in the sub-editor's room of the Daily Tele- 
graph. Thence he went to the Hour, of which and of 
whose workers enough has already been said. On the 
death of that paper in 1876, he became the first editor 
of the Daily Chronicle, into whfch he had rendered 
Lloyd valuable help in improving the Clerkenwell News. 
While that journal has steadily advanced in credit, enter- 
prise, and prosperity, Mr. Catling will be remembered 
as a journalist not less distinctly representative of the 
Victorian Age than his successor, Mr. Robert Donald, 
represents the workers and the system which characterise 
the present period. Colonial universities like to catch their 
professors young. The twentieth-century newspaper 
owner, whether he be a Lloyd or another, fights shy of a 
labourer who has lost the gloss of youth. Other times, 
in a word, other manners. In its peremptory gradations 
of centurion -like power and responsibility there is some- 
thing of military precision characterising the distribution 
of command among those who, whether on Lloyd's 
Weekly or the Daily Chronicle, have taken literary service 
in the family that once employed the author of Mrs. 
Caudle's Curtain Lectures. At the head of the whole 
system the travelled and cosmopolitan Mr. Robert 
Donald, encircled by aides-de-camp, transmits his orders 
to commanders of divisions, and through them to the 
junior captains of the host, each within a minute's call. 
As generalissimo of the Messrs. Lloyd's entire force. 



A GLADSTONIAN FORECAST 281 

Mr. Donald, still, according to the ancient Roman compu- 
tation, little more than a youth, unites in himself the 
authority before his time divided between Mr. Catling 
antJ Mr. H. W. Massingham. The latter, as editor of 
the Nation, is one ,of the three or four newspaper men 
on the Liberal side whose word counts for as much with 
the extremists of their party as doe§ that of Mr. Garvin 
among the more thoroughgoing Conservatives. Mr. 
Massingham, however, will also go down to posterity, 
as one of the very few journalists who appreciably influ- 
enced the formation of a Government. That was more 
than half a generation since, and happened in this 
manner. In 1894 Gladstone's retirement was known 
to an influential few long before its public announcement. 
Loyalty and respect to the gireat chief abdicating his 
ofifice caused the matter scarcely to be mentioned in 
the press. If it had been, the succession must certainly 
have gone to Sir William Harcoiurt, whose supporters 
would then have been able openly to co-operate for 
establishing his claim to the Vacancy. As it was, the 
Harcourtians were unorganised and unprepared. Mean- 
while Mr. Massiflgham, then conducting the Daily 
Chronicle, declared against Harcourt, and convinced a 
powerful section that the best arrangement for 
Radicalism would be a peer Premier with a lieutenant 
in the House of Commons, whose staunchness to the 
advanced cause should be as much above suspicion as 
his ability. Sir William Harcourt, indeed, could not 
be kept from the Chancellorship of the Exchequer. That 
Lord Rosebery filled the first place, and that the Liberal 
rank and file began to see their eventual chief in Mr. 
Asquith, was due entirely to Mr. Donald's predecessor 
on the Lloyd establishment. 

To produce " process " blocks in a single night for 
printing next day was a feat unaccomplished, probably 
tmattempted, before 1890. The idea, however, of an 
illtistrated daily paper had occurred quite in early days 
to Henry Vizetelly. That prolific and resourceful pro- 
jector submitted the notion to the first Sir Charles Dilke. 
His adviser, John Francis, did not then consider the 
various processes connected with engraving had reached 
a point at which the experiment could be made with a 
fair chance of success. Nothing, therefore, was done 



282 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

till 1890. By that date such improvements had been 
effected as even the acute and prescient Vizetelly could 
not have foreseen. Still, however, the immense advances 
in rapid reproduction of pictorial design might not have 
been turned to practical account bnt for the remarkable 
man who had found in the Franco -Prussian War of 
1 870- 1 the opportunity for securing success to the only 
real competitor the Illustrated London News had ever 
known. William Thomas was fortunate enough to 
interest in his project the most active of those concerned 
in the direction of the Graphic. This was Mr. Porter, of 
Redhill. At that time also there still lived the weekly 
Graphic's earliest editor, H. Sutherland Edwards. He, 
too, quite apart from his earlier connection with Vizetelly, 
believed a daily pictorial sheet to be possible. Some at 
least of the money support given to the new venture 
was forthcoming on his recommendation. Henry Black- 
burn, himself equally accomplished with pencil and pen, 
in his books about the Normandy coast and the Oberam- 
mergau Passion Play, had given some practical hints 
about the utilisation of art as an accompaniment to letter- 
press in the daily newspaper. His expert advice en- 
couraged Mr . Porter and his business colleagues to regard 
the scheme with fresh favour. Henry Blackburn lived 
long enough to witness the harvest borne by his sugges- 
tions in the Daily Graphic. Itself resulting from the 
initiative of not more than half a dozen men, the new 
paper had scarcely been established when its growing 
acceptance by the public set the conductors of one or 
two other sheets on decorating their columns with 
pictorial designs after their own fashion. 



CHAPTER XII 
NEWSPAPER MAKERS OUT OF LONDON 

In the provinces during the early nineteenth century — The " father of the 
English newspaper" among the local prints-^Defoe starts the Edinburgh 
Courant — Its history — Rivalry with the Scotsman — Hard hitting — The 
passing of the Courant — Russel of the Scotsman — A North British Delane 
— Marks of public gratitude — C. A. Cooper, Russel's pupil and real suc- 
cessor — The Liverpool press — The United Kingdom's first penny "daily," 
the Liverpool Daily Post, and its makers— Other Liverpool journalists — 
Papers in Manchester — The battle that was never fought — Amusing attacks 
on Disraeli — " Orientalising " Great Britain — A characteristic retort — Joseph 
Cowen of the Newcastle Chronicle — The Urquhart school of political thought 
— The newspaper in Yorkshire and Plymouth — Cut and thrust — Mortimer 
Collins — The first Plymouth "daily" and its founders — Edward Spender's 
enterprise — Unity of the press in town, country, and colony. 

Among the great operators of the newspaper system, 
some, like the Harmsworths, have carried their enterprise 
from the metropolitan into that provincial field where the 
twentieth -century journalist has done greater things even 
than in the capital for himself and for his craft. During 
mid-Victorian days (1846), instead of the two hundred 
and two "dailies" of 19 10, the United Kingdom pos- 
sessed only fourteen, of which the metropolis supplied 
nine. London thus supplied all England with its morning 
journal. The singular number is correctly used be- 
cause, at the point now looked back upon, that morning 
journal was practically always the Times. Not that the 
provincial reader, whose opinions the mighty organ did 
so much towards forming, was himself a regular sub- 
scriber to it. At most he saw it beneath his own roof 
for a fixed time on hire on the first, or more likely the 
second day of publication. If he lived in or near a 
country town, he looked at the day's news as it issued 
from Printing House Square in an inn coffee-room or 



284 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

at the local stationer's, where, before the club system's 
development out of London, clergymen of virious degrees 
and county magistrates used to congregate, not only to 
read the Blackfriars broadsheet, but to discuss among 
themselves the problems which it proposed. Country 
prints of course there were, epitomising the week's doings 
throughout the world, and reporting local incidents at 
full length. These were regularly taken in by the well-to- 
do gentry or clergy, not so much for reading as by way, 
of patting an indigenous industry on the back, just as 
they mig'ht have encouraged any other manufacture 'on 
the spot, whether it were something to eat or drink 
or to wear. By degrees things improved. Local com- 
petition insured better writing, wider, as well as earlier 
news. The journalist out of London began not to fear 
comparison with his metropolitan rival. In 1881 the 
last disadvantage under which he had laboured was 
removed by his admission to the full privileges of the 
press galleries and the lobbies, on the same footing as 
the most favoured of his London brethren, at West- 
minster. 

The man who first made the Eng'lish newspaper a 
national institution, in his Kentish Petition and Legion 
Memorial, did something towards creating the germs of 
a provincial press ; he went, however, much further 
than that. While a fugitive and a wanderer through 
all parts of the United Kingdom, Daniel Defoe found 
himself almost as much at home in the local centres 
on which he descended as in his native Cripplegate. 
Before winging his flight further, or being moved on by 
law officers to fresh cities of refuge, he had a way of 
leaving his mark where he had once alighted in the 
shape of a few periodical columns for supporting the 
Revolution Settlement which his pen had served so well. 
Among'st the local capitals where now or afterwards Defoe 
established himself was Edinburgh. Here, as has been 
already shown in the chapter dealing at length with his 
career, he made himself the literary life and soul of the 
negotiations for the Anglo-Scottish Union of 1707. By 
that time there had already come into existence a news- 
paper called the Edittburgh Courant. It lapsed in conse- 
quence of its owner's death. In 17 10 it was revived 
and reorganised by Defoe for the purpose of overcoming 



JOURNALISTS OUT OF LONDON 285 

the Northern partner's sentimental dislike of incorporation 
into the unity of Great Britain. Having served or 
attempted to serve that end, the Edinburgh Courant had 
done its real work. The Scotch national products were 
once described by Lord Rosebery as oatmeal and Liberal 
members of Parliament. Notwithstanding the lavisih con- 
tributions of Scotch Conservatives and the literary eififorts 
of the distinguished and accomplished men successively 
concerned in its management, the Courani never became 
a popular paper. About the year 1850, indeed, as 
regards circulation, it took a start, and began running 
the Scotsman close. But it failed to seize the heart and 
mind of the multitude. It therefore did not penetrate, 
as the Scotsman did, into every nook and corner of the 
country. At this time Alexander Russel's paper, further 
particulars about which presently will be given, published 
in each issue one or two editorials interpreting, with the 
searching insight of familiarity and power, the inarticu- 
late sentiment, social, religious, or political, of the most 
curiously varied and complex public in the kingdom. 
Russel himself was a personality better known to his 
fellow-coxmtrymen and in closer touch with their most 
cherished prejudices, partialities, or convictions than 
could have been the case with Delane of the Times in 
England. James Hannay, whose name is not now men- 
tioned for the first time in these pages, and who began 
to edit the C oar ant in i860, had a higher literary, 
reputation than the other leditor against whom he was 
pitted, and, on his return after some years of adventurous 
absence to his native land, was welcomed as a clever 
novelist in the Captain Marryat vein, a Quarterly reviewer 
of sound literary judgttient, ,of great illustrative power, 
and a lecturer who had done for satire and the satirists 
what had been done by his friend and teacher, 
Thackeray, for the seventeenth or eighteenth -century sove- 
reigns and wits. The two men in private life were 
friends and associates ; in their respective newspapers 
they were perpetually crossing swords. Hannay was a 
hard hitter, never more pleased than when what he gave 
was returned, and excited much amusement in a certain 
controversial episode by his description of his adversary's 
manners and methods — " invective brandished as reck- 
lessly as the writer's own dinner -knife when peas are in 



286 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

season." On his migration in 1865 from Edinburgh to 
London, Hannay gave up the Courant to Francis Espi- 
nasse, a Scot of Gascon descent, who remained at the 
paper till its purchase by Charles Wescomb, the purchaser 
also, about the same time, pi the London Globe. In 
James Scot Henderson, Wescomb found a thoroughly 
capable, cultivated, clever, and kindly successor to 
Espinasse, and in Dr. J. P. Steele, 3, writer also for 
the Yorkshire Post and the Lancet, a really consum- 
mate tnaster of the leader -manufacturer's art. Mean- 
while the earlier promise of better days had not been 
maintained. The Courant steadily fell rather than grew 
in favour. Years earlier Russel's just description of it 
as a kept paper while the Scotsman was everywhere 
had drawn from Hannay the retort : " Better to be kept 
than to be on the streets." Now its protectors were 
falling away. Presently there came a rally ; the hat 
was sent round to the Conservative lairds, with the result 
that the Courant struggled on a little longer under the 
conduct of James Mure, a younger son of that William 
Mure of Caldwell who, between 1850 and 1857, wrote 
the well-known and still read History of Greek Literature, 
and who had relieved his pen's severer labours by occa- 
sional contributions to journals which appreciated 
classical learning, and which allowed him to make his 
animadversions upon the economic fallacies of democratic 
Athens the occasion for .telling backhanders at the 
financial blunders of English Radicalism. Like the most 
distinguished among his predecessors, James Hannay, 
James Mure had begun life in the Navy, but had from 
time to time, when on shore, revived under his learned 
father's eye the knowledge he had picked up at West- 
minster, and received from him the continuation lessons 
that were in themselves a little journalistic training. He 
also resembled Hannay in having, after his nautical days, 
served his newspaper apprenticeship on the London press . 
The Edinburgh Blackwoods had long been the Courant's 
most generous and sanguine supporters ; James Mure, 
their personal friend, took over the paper practically 
as their nominee. Never had it been more thoroughly 
Scotch in the personnel of its management than during 
Mure's short editorship ; for in those days its business 
arrangements were looked after first by a Macdonald 



JOURNALISTS OUT OF LONDON 287 

sprung from the ancient Skye stock, afterwards by James 
Somervell of Som, who first connected the office in 
the Scotch capital with the London headquarters by a 
special wire, giving up nearly the whole of every night to 
the superintendence of despatches, so that he at least was 
free from blame if the Courant in this respect were 
not kept up to the Scotsman's mark. So things went 
on to 1886, the year of political chaos following the 
Gladstonian conversion to Home Rule. 

Ten years had now passed since the Scotsman's reins 
fell from the strong hand of Russel, who died in 1876, 
and whose temporary successor, Wallace, inheriting his 
statesmanlike wisdom, preserved the newspaper's Liberal 
traditions while keeping it out of the Home Rule quag- 
mire. Russel himself was so much of a national person- 
age, as well as a newspaper celebrity, that he claims a 
few final words now. An Edinburgh solicitor's son, 
he had received a igood classical grounding at Ross 
Kennedy's school, St. James's Square, in his native city. 
Leaving it while still a boy, he was bound over to serve 
his articles with a printer ; here he had for his fellow- 
apprentice the bearer of a name destined afterwards 
to become famous in newspaper narrative. This was 
John Johnstone, less noticeable for his future con- 
nection with the Inverness Courier than for his kinship 
to the family of the same name that produced the re- 
creator, and, as it exists to-day, the real founder of the 
London Standard. Russel 's earliest berth was the 
Berwick Advertiser, which at the age of twenty -five he 
edited for a yearly wage of £70, paid every week. Then, 
after a short control of an obscure Kilmarnock sheet, 
he fell in with one among the shrewdest and most far- 
seeing of the Scotsman's founders. 

The triumph of personal enterprise signalised by 
this paper from the first calls for a few details 
about the little group of remarkable men who made it. 
In the autumn of 18 16, James Ritchie, of Edinburgh, 
desired to publish his views concerning the conduct of 
the Royal Infirmary. Fear of offending the "little great 
men " then locally supreme closed against him all exist- 
ing newspaper doors. "Surely," he said, when taking' 
counsel of his friend Charles Maclaren, " there must be 
room in this North British capital of ours for a free organ 



288 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

of public opinion." To that end the two men at once set 
to work. Professional business with clients abroad took 
Ritchie to the Continent, and kept him there for some 
months. Maclaren, a State servant in the Edinburgh 
Custom House, was visited with misgjivings about the 
policy of connecting himself with an opposition journal. 
Confiding in John Ramsay M'CuUoch, a common friend 
of himself and of Ritchie, he secured that acquaintance's 
help in starting, the new paper, and induced him to 
become its first editor. 

James Ritchie had keenly watched his movements but 
a short time when he decided on getting Russel into his 
own office as assistant to thie chief editor, Maclaren. 
Whatever might be the farthest limit of success in the 
line on which he at once received a start, Ritchie for 
one felt no doubt of Russel's reaching it. He had 
entered the Scotsman's office in 1845 ; in 1848, at the 
age of thirty-fo.ur, the ex-printer's apprentice was pro- 
moted to its supreme control. That position during 
twenty -eight years proved his capacity for being to the 
Scotsman all that not only Delane but Walter was to 
the Times. For wide experience, keen perception of 
life and character, and personal acceptability in all circles, 
the Scotch editor did not come after the English. A 
canny, clear talker, with much dry wit, and a memory fhat 
never paused or slipped, at the dinner-tables of his native 
land he had no conversational superior. He was, too, a 
sportsman, who, as he could fish or describe fishing 
against any, so could brings down a grouse or a capercail!^ 
zie against most. Altogether a guest universally welcome 
for as long as he liked to stay, equally beneath the feudal 
roofs on the border or in the spick-and-span new chiteaux 
on the Clyde. Working gradually upward from his 
creditably humble beginnings, he knew his countrymen 
on every level so thoroughly by heart that he could play 
upon popular feeling like a Highland musician on an 
old set of ba:gpipes. As a conseqi^^nce, he had so im- 
pressed his personality first on his paper, secondly on the 
uncritical thousands who swore '^y it, that everything 
which they found of special interest was put down as 
coming from his pen. The true secret, however, of his 
universal ascendancy, whether in print or out of it, was the 
faculty which must be found among the one or two great 



JOURNALISTS OUT OF LONDON 289 

men, without whom neither a newspaper nor a Cabinet 
can long carry on. This was the power of judging and 
interpreting public opinion by an instinctive process, 
just as some men know all about the wind and weather 
on first waking from sleep, before they have scanned 
the horizon from the window. Nor had a greater effect 
on the popular mind been produced by Russel's remark- 
able gifts than by those testimonials to his national 
position that formed the unsolicited acknowledgtnents 
of his fruitful connection with the national story of his 
time. Macaulay had more than completed his brilliant 
parliamentary reputation by his Reform speeches, and 
had held the highest offices of his Cabinet career when 
he lost his seat for Edinburgh in 1847. During that year 
Russel's position on the Scotsman was subordinate only. 
His good offices for the writer and orator whose genius 
he admired and whose views he shared could, therefore, 
be but limited. A little later, in 1852, Russel, as editor 
of the paper and to some extent the first man in Edin- 
burgh, threw his opportunities and influences into the 
scale. Macaulay was returned not only at the head of the 
poll, but by a majority of considerably more than a 
hundred over the next successful candidate of his own 
party. In this year, too, the unsuccessful candidate 
on Macaulay's own side brought an action for libel 
against the Scotsman; Russel and his paper were cast in 
£400 and costs. The entire sum was paid by public 
subscription. The greatest proof of the public apprecia- 
tion he had won was, of course, the wide sale that, in 
1855, had enabled him to reduce the Scotsman to a 
penny. No ebb followed in the tide of compliment that 
had thus set in. Instead of sending a special correspon- 
dent, he attended in his own person and described with 
his own pen the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. 
During the three days' festivities, Ismail Pasha, then 
Khedive, singled out Russel among all press representa- 
tives for nearly as many marks of distinction as if, like 
the great official guests of the occasion, he had been 
a crowned head. The Austrian Emperor personally 
initiated him into the mysteries of Balkan politics. The 
then Queen of European beauty and fashion, the Empress 
Eugenie, claimed him as a fellow-countryman on the 
strength of her own descent from the Belfast trader, 

19 



290 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

William Kirkpatrick, whose daughter, by a Belgian mar- 
riage, eventually became the Marquis of Montijo's wife 
and the Imperial Eugenie's mother. Three years later 
the rising generation of his own country paid him 
the greatest compliment in the Scotch gift to bestow 
—candidature for the Aberdeen JLord Rectorship ; he 
made his refusal even more impressive than would have 
been his acceptance by a few well -chosen words in the 
nolo episcopari sense that could soon be repeated by 
all from Cape Wrath to the Clyde. One reason for 
declining the offer may have been the conscious failure 
of health, shortly afterwards obliging him to pass the 
winter in Southern France. Before, hoWever, in 1876, 
the curtain finally fell, he had been specially elected to 
the Reform Club, Pall Mall, for his distinguished public 
services ; about the same time his fellow -citizens pre- 
sented him with a service of silVer plate and £1,600. 
Alexander Russel not only gratified Scotch patriotism 
when he created a newspaper respected and loved by its 
readers throughout the iworld as a mirror of national 
feeling and a monument pf national enterprise, but 
founded an editorial succession perpetuating from' stage 
to stage his own wisdom and methods'. Among .the 
newspaper-writers whom he trained, and who, on the 
strength of that preparation, took the highest places in 
London journalism, were James and John Macdonell ; 
both on the TimeSf and both as closely representative of 
himself as first-rate gifts and original genius could allow 
any disciples to be. At the Scotsman office he had 
formed the man for filling the chair vacated by 
himself. This was Mr. Cooper, the shrewdest and 
most determined of men — in mere literary capacity 
perhaps Russel 's inferior, but absolutely unrivalled in 
the aptitude of doing without it. The editorial interval 
between Russel's death and Mr. Cooper's formal succes- 
sion was filled by the Rev. Robert Wallace, D.D., who 
left the chair of Church History in Edinburgh Univer- 
sity, as well as the ministry of Greyfriars Church, for 
editorial work on the Scotsman. Dr. Wallace, however, 
had on the paper a resolute and able rival, Mr. C. A. 
Cooper, himself an aspirant to Dr. Wallace's position, 
and presently favoured by a little incident which may 
be briefly mentioned. Visiting the Strangers' Gallery in 



JOURNALISTS OUT OF LONDON 291 

the House of Commons, Dr. Wallace found himself 
listening to the speech of another Scotch ejditor — of the 
Glasgow Daily Mail, who was also M.P. for one of the 
Glasgow divisions. It seemed a tedious harangue, and 
provoked Dr. Wallace's dissent at every point till he 
could contain himself no longer, and gave vent to his 
feelings by breaking the absolute silence imposed on 
strangers. The Speaker showed no pity ; Dr. Wallace 
had to leave the building. Meanwhile, of course, what 
had happened was telegraphed to every provincial news- 
paper, the Scotsman included. Dr. Wallace was far 
too good a writer to be lost to the paper. But his 
fine sense of the becoming an'd the honourable left him 
with no wish to retain the editorship, the way to which' 
now lay open to Mr. Cooper. As for the clever, kindly, 
and universally popular gentleman whom Mr. Cooper 
replaced, after having qualified for the English Bar, he 
successfully stood for East Edinburgh against the then 
Mr. Goschen in i886, held the seat with the good wishes 
of the entire Chamber ' till 1899, when, while speaking 
against the South African policy that led to the Boer 
War, he dropped down dead, leaving with all who knew 
anything of him a (keen sense of personal loss . For thirty 
years Mr. Cooper enjoyed the fruits of his personal 
conquest. Before, in 1906, he retired into private life, 
he had not only justified by an unbroken course of 
success his original triumph ; he had engraved his 
personality, in characters as clear and deep as had been 
done by Russel before him, upon the minds of his public, 
and, like Russel, too, had become the hero of countless 
achievements, some perhaps legendary, though not t»n 
that account the less historically significant of his own 
remarkable idiosyncrasy. 

Mr. Cooper's place began in 1906 effectively to be 
filled by Mr. J. P. Croal. The Scotsman's present editor 

' "The most delightfal of companions and entertaining of speakers " was the 
social verdict of St. Stephens on Dr. Wallace, who brought down the House by 
the description of his Radical colleagues, at the command of their wives, engaging 
in a wild chase for titles to the cry of ' ' Knight, lord take the hindmost " — a jest 
ruined by the reporters, who wrote it "devil." In the same speech Wallace was 
even merrier at the expense of the increase in peers of humble birth. These, he 
said, reminded him of the Spanish proverb, " The ^ligher a monkey climbs the 
more he shows his tail." 



292 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

belongfs to a distinguished newspaper family. Trained 
for his life's business in his father's ofifice at Haddington, 
he worked for the Liverpool Albion before, in 1872, 
being promoted to the Scotsman, and at once making 
his start there with an inquiry into the condition of the 
crofters . Next came a transfer to the Scotsman's London 
office. For twenty-five years without a break, Mr. Croal 
managed its parliamentary staff and its London corre- 
spondence. Consequently he entered upon his editorship 
with as full and practical knowledge of political men 
and matters as had been Alexander Russel's when his 
career closed. 

Of all provincial capitals, Liverpool is that in which 
individual newspaper reputations of national distinction 
have been most conspicuously pr frequently achieved. 
During the nineteenth century's first half, the great city 
on the Mersey knew no more striking representative ftf 
the craft than Michael James Whitty, father of the 
E. M. Whitty already mentioned more than once in the 
course of this narrative. A maltster's son of Wexford 
birth, he was one of the most gifted among the clever 
Irishmen who in the twenties found a place on the 
London press, and soon made famous friends — among 
them Sir James Bacon and Georg'e Cruikshank ; Cruik- 
shank, indeed, illustrated those ^ketches of Irish life 
that had given Whitty name and fame in authorship 
before he became powerful as a journalist. His Lan- 
cashire connection opened in 1830 with the Liverpool 
JourttaPs editorship. The abilities displayed by him 
in that office won recognition from his fellow -citizens in 
his appointment to the post of Chief Constable. After 
twelve years (i 836-48) of that employment, he returned to 
his earliest pursuits by purchasing the Liverpool Journal. 
Having acted as correspondent to the London Daily 
News, he promoted the newspaper stamp's abolition by 
his evidence before the Parliamentary Commission of 
185 1. Other newspaper men examined at the same time 
as himself were Russel of the Scotsman, Mowbray Morris, 
manag'er of the Times, and Knight Hunt, on the staff of 
the Daily News. Michael Whitty's twelve years' control 
of the Liverpool police had not only made him a larger 
number of well-placed friends than his newspaper oppor- 
tunities alone might have secured, but had presented 



JOURNALISTS OUT OF LONDON 293 

him with a retiring gift, raised by subscription, of a 
thousand pounds . It was not so much that modest capital 
as the substantial supporters iwho flocked round him 
that, on the abolition of the newspaper stamp in 1855, 
enabled him to start the first penny paper established 
in the United Kingdom, the Liverpool Daily Post. Of 
this, Whitty himselif took the reins. Edward R. Russell 
diiring six years was his chief assistant ; he then went 
to London, and from 1865 to 1869 became one of the 
chief writers on the Morning Star, under Justin McCarthy, 
at the same time earning a great reputation for the 
delicacy and skill with which, in the interests of the 
paper, he conducted his frequent interviews with W. E. 
Gladstone, John Bright, W. E. Forster, Lord Clarendon, 
and other political leaders, whose good opinion of his 
sagacity it concerned a journalist to cultivate. In 1869 Sir 
Edward Russell returned to Liverpool as the Daily Post's 
full editor. That position he still retains. During the 
forty years covered by them, his editorial experiences 
knew only one change ,or break; from 1885 to 1887 
he sat in the House of Commons for the Bridgeton 
division of Glasgow, winning from both sides golden 
opinions for his debating power. No provincial editor 
l^s handled more judgmatically the most disturbing 
questions of the day, notably in Church as well as State, 
or has given a better tone to literary and theatrical 
criticism, and that in a city whose dramatic tastes are 
as imiversal as its critical appreciation is intelligent and 
quick. 

Among other makers of the Liverpool press jn Sir 
Edward Russell's time has been John Maitland, of the 
Mercury, now incorporated in the Post, founded by 
Egerton Smith, and associated with memories of Sir John 
A. iWillox, M.P., a notably strenuous representative of 
Lancashire's journalistic interests. The qualities most 
distinctive of Lancashire enterprise were also personified 
in Hugh Shimmin. During the shirt sleeves and long 
clay stage of the Savage Club's development, Clement 
Miilward, one of the club's earliest habitu6s, estab- 
lished a literary link between London and Liverpool 
Bohemianism in the Porcupine ; that paper's tendency 
to the frivolous and the comic went on growing till it 
received an entirely different bias from its new proprietor. 



294 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Shimmin. Acquiring decisive influence with the per- 
manent officials of the civic body, he made the paper the 
organ of the most advanced progressives, and the pioneer 
of sweeping changes, social, sanitary, and municipal. 

There is a story which may be repeated here_, but which 
must be taken only for what it may be worth, about the 
correspondent of a great Lancashire journal deceiving 
himself during the Franco -Prussian War into an account 
of a battle that was never fought. Taking his ease in an 
upper room at his hotel, he was startled from a reverie 
by, as he supposed, the thunders of a cannonade pro- 
ceeding from a quarter where he knew an engagement 
to be expected. Here he saw a chance of forestalling 
his colleagues of other papers, though they might be on 
the field of action and he was not. He at once began a 
report of the engagement, trusting to pick up fresh details 
for filling in and finishing as he went along, and perhaps 
encounter communicative stragglers from the fray. He 
reached the nearest frontier station, and with great secrecy 
by good luck contrived to get his despatch on the wires 
at once. That done, he reappeared for dinner at his 
hotel. Preserving a discreet silence on the feat he had 
just accomplished, he learned from casual informants, 
diners and waiters in the coffee -room, that the distant 
volleys of artillery whose reverberations on the heavy 
air he had just so graphically described came from the 
kicking and plunging of some frightened horses in an 
adjacent shed. 

The vivid account of the imaginary fight which his 
zeal had prompted him to send home did not detract 
from the sustained excellence with which the real charges, 
counter -charges, assaults, sieges, and all the pomp, shock, 
and circumstance of war were described by represen- 
tatives of the Lancashire press, especially the Manchester 
Guardian. These, in the seventies, were doing for the 
provincial press the same work as was done by Forbes 
for the London Daily News. Not only Manchester, but 
other great North of England centres presently to be 
mentioned had been fortunate in obtaining for their cheap 
papers men of the same stamp as those who, like Mr. 
Andrew Lang and Mr. J. A. Spender, have quickened and 
adorned journalism with the best variety of the Oxford 
touch. With these is to be associated Mr. C. P. Scott, 



JOURNALISTS OUT OF LONDON 295 

as not only editor but governing director, and the leading 
spirit of the Manchester Guardian. Like another Lanca- 
shire editor already mentioned, Sir E. R. Russell, Mr. 
Scott combined during some years (1895-1906) of his 
journalistic service a parliamentary with an editorial seat, 
and, as member for the Leigh division of Lancashire, 
proved himself the most useful committee-man of his 
time. Among others bearing famous names or represent- 
ing great positions who have served under Mr. Scott was, 
some time since, Matthew Arnold's nephew, in his day 
the best dramatic critic, perhaps, out of London. 

The Guardian has not had even the Liberal field entirely 
to its own. Provincial journalism could not show a 
better representative of its rugged strength than 
Henry Dunckley ; he it was who, from' his editorial 
chair in the Manchester Examiner's office, discovered 
Benjamin Disraeli's sinister and secret design of uncon- 
stitutionally reviving the monarchy's lapsed prerogatives. 
First the office of Lord High Admiral was to be re- 
created to fill it with Queen Victoria's second son, the 
Duke of Edinburgh. Many more machinations pi the 
same kind were brought to light by the Examiner's 
editor in the pamphlet which, under the signature of 
" Verax," he published during that nineteenth -century, 
period in which Disraeli was charged with an attempt 
to convert fact into fiction by realising some of the 
dreams of his own Fakredeen in Tancred. Let it be 
remembered, urged Dunckley, that in this novel had 
been suggested the substitution of Delhi for London as 
capital of the Empire. And now had not the first step 
towards that been taken by bringing Asiatic troops into 
England's European possessions ? As for the next step 
in Orientalising the United Kingdom^ time alone could 
show. Meanwhile Verax more than hinted that Queen 
Victoria's infatuation for the Disraelian statesmanship 
might cause her to accept its author's hand and heart as 
well as counsels. On that suggestion, when repeated 
to him, Disraeli's characteristic comment was : " Im- 
possible ; there are two objections. The first is John 
Bull, the second is John Brown." The other competitor 
with which the Manchester Guardian has had to reckon 
is the Courier, the product of the enterprise and energy 
which two remarkable brothers, James and Thomas 



296 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Sowler, dedicated to journalism, less as a business specu- 
lation than because, honest and ardent Conservatives, 
they believed they had a mission to stem the torrent of 
subversive thought and democratic writing then poured 
forth from so many sources in their native county. The 
Sowlers of an earlier generation are represented at the 
Manchester Courier to-day by a descendant of their name, 
Mr. Harry Sowler, whose antecedents, social or political, 
literary and academic, are much those belon^ng to his 
rival, the already mentioned Mr. Scott, of the Guardian. 
Till the eve of King Edward's accession, the jmost 
notable and interesting among provincial journalists north 
of the Trent was Joseph Cowen, the creator, practically 
the editor, of the Newcastle Chronicle, and quite capable, 
had it been necessary, of daily filling, with his own 
vigorous pen, its chief columns. The public temper 
and the international events connected with the Imperial 
Titles Bill of 1876 brought Cowen, as they also did 
Dunckley, into sudden fame and made himself and his 
paper a politico-literary school, the most apt disciple in 
which is still a force on the twentieth -century press. 
In foreign politics David Urquhart's pupil, Joseph Cowen 
entered the House of Commons a decade after his master 
had done so. In the debate on the Disraelian measure for 
improving Queen Victoria into an Empress, Cowen found 
an opportunity for expressing the same distrust of Russia, 
of her policy, and of the English statesman whom her 
influence had blinded, that had been so often manu- 
factured by Urquhart, with Chisholm' Anstey for his 
supporter, during the Palmerstonian period. So elo- 
quently was the whole thing done, in such terse, telling, 
antithetical Anglo-Saxon phraseology were the well-knit 
and closely coherent sentences delivered, that, for the first 
time in the five years of his parliamentary course, Cowen 
found himself cited on both sides as an instance of the 
invaluable training for House of Commons eloquence 
which a well-conducted newspaper office might prove. 
The mass of pamphlets, magazine articles, and other 
serials brought together by tJrquhart was enormous. 
From the Pillars of Hercules to the Diplomatic Review 
and the Portfolio, they had all been mastered by Cowen. 
The traditions in foreign policy which the acceptance 
of Urquhart's views imported into his paper have found 



JOURNALISTS OUT OF LONDON 297 

continuous expression, since Cowen's death, not merely in 
the Tyneside journal but elsewhere, and from a pen whose 
vigour and knowledge are largely due to himself. But 
for his early connection with the Newcastle Chronicle, 
Mr. J. L. Garvin might scarcely have rendered services 
so valuable to the Daily Telegraph as he still does, to 
the Fortnightly Review, or have been in a position to 
make his own Observer the mouthpiece of Cowen's states- 
manship, and to-day the one organ in the English press, 
the founder of whose political philosophy is as much 
David Urquhart as if that remarkable man were amongst 
us now. Some of the personal associations attaching 
to the Sunday paper edited by Cowen's twentieth -century 
representative are so striking that no apology is needed 
for passing reference to them here. Mr. Edward Dicey 
had made that journal a well-informed critic of the less 
known diplomatic movements both before and after its 
acquisition by Julius Beer, himself a man of much 
intellectual subtlety and keen interest in foreign affairs. 
On his death it was conducted by his son with such help 
as he found necessary from professional literary advisers. 
The son died, but the daughter-in-law remained. Mrs. 
Beer gradually found that, in undertaking its sole manage- 
ment, she had essayed a task beyond her power. Fond of 
writing as well as editing, she always for choice did her 
" leaders " herself. Her powers gave way ; her final 
appearance in her own columns was the fragment of an 
article, her inability to finish which was pathetically 
testified after what should have been the second para- 
graph by the words, " To be concluded in our next." 
His detestation of " Little Englanders " in every guise 
did not prevent Joseph Cowen calling himself a Radical 
to the last. His imperialism and zeal for the Turk 
against the Russ were explained, no doubt inaccurately, 
by the alleged identity of his own name with Cohen. It 
was, one heard, the Hebrew strain in his blood which 
impelled him, as it then did so many of Semitic con- 
nections, to rank for the moment among the partisans of 
the Crescent against the Cross. Urquhart's political 
propagandism was a triumph of organisation covering 
the northern half of the United Kingdom. That it 
remained a force long after its deviser's death was due 
chiefly to the Northumbrian journalist just described. 



29g MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Cowen was still busy at this work when a neigh- 
bouring county suggested itself as a promising field for 
journalistic enterprise in the Conservative interest. The 
Yorkshire squires of the North Riding had long talked 
of a rival newspaper to the Leeds Mercury. Neither 
their desires nor their capital would have borne fruit 
but for the organising brain of the most experienced 
Conservative writer then living, T. E. Kebbel, a name 
how mentioned not for the first time in these pages. 
While the business managers were arranging premises, 
plant, and other preliminaries, Mr. Kebbel was getting 
together capable writers, to start at least under his 
conduct. Tied to London himself, he edited the new 
sheet from his Temple chambers ; soon afterwards he 
recommended a resident successor, the able and accom- 
plished John Ralph, with Mr. E. J. Goodman for his 
chief assistant. There were plenty of Conservative York- 
shiremen ; but, though politics may have had the first 
place in their affection, horses were something more than 
a good second. In that part of the world the Liberal 
press severely ignored the racecourse. As became a 
paper so many of whose best friends, being Tories, were 
also sportsmen, the Yorkshire Post cultivated the interest 
systematically let alone by the Liberal organs. The turf 
news of the newly established sheet recommended it to 
its political enemies as well as friends, and fairly started 
it on the road to the great success which it soon 
achieved and has ever since maintained. 

The journalistic activities belonging to the early sixties 
in the North extended also to widely distant parts of the 
kingdom. In West Anglia two brothers-in-law, Edward 
Spender and William Saunders, established the first daily 
sheet issued from the Plymouth press. One, at least, 
of the West Country journalists in the Tpxe^-Western 
Morning News era forms a personal landmark too inter- 
esting entirely to be omitted here. A Plymouth man by 
birth, Mortimer Collins took successfully to newspaper- 
writing and to mathematical schoolmastering in the same 
casual breezy fashion that he did to versifying. His 
best articles were not political pieces but random frag- 
ments of picturesque essay -writing, with something of 
the same grace and jauntiness that showed themselves in 
the lilt and the music of his poetry. Previously to the 



JOURNALISTS OUT OF LONDON 299 

Saunders -Spender operations, the seaport city of the West 
had three local weeklies; of these the two Inost 
important were the Plymouth and Devonport Journal, 
done by Mr. Isaac Latimer, and the Plymouth Mail, edited 
and largely written by Collins. The normal relations 
between the two prints were those of the Eatanswill 
Gazette and Independent described in Pickwick : — 

"Isaac the editor, Isaac the ass, 
The sayer of things that don't come to pass," 

was the opening of a skit chiefly directed by Collins 
at his rival. The gentleman thus pleasantly described 
in his enemy's by no means best metrical form retaliated 
with la catalogue of the various processes for debt in 
which his adversary had figured, but was subsequently 
caricatured as Ridley in a novel written by Collins for 
London Society. So the war went merrily on till Collins 
transferred himself to the cottage, Knowl Hill, Berkshire^ 
where, in the intervals of short pieces in the London 
Globe and miagazine versifying, he produced such really 
clever and melodious jeux-d'esprit as the British Birds 
and a Letter to Disraeli in heroic couplets, as well as, 
on a prolonged South Coast holiday, endowed Brighton 
for a season with a vivacious little sheet, exclusively his 
own manufacture, called the Rapier, whose memory still 
amusingly lingers in some South Coast newspaper ofi&ces, 
but which, during its brief and bright existence, 
attempted no rivalry with such first-rate specimens of 
local enterprise as the Sussex Daily News and the 
Brighton Herald. The poem addressed to Disraeli ^.nd 
in the manner of Bulwer Lytton's New Timon and 5^. 
Stephens, described the parliamentary personnel : — 

" Flashy directors, birds of evil omen, 
Enormous fellows of immense abdomen. 
Stockjobbers, gorgeous with their diamond rings — 
Such form the sum of our six hundred kings." 

Altogether it was a fresh, musical, and, in its way, 
stimulating current of thought and phrase, turned on by 
Collins into the journalistic channel of his day. 

To resume the more sober theme of the new Western 



300 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

daily that, in i860, begfan to leave no place either for 
Collins or his antagonist. During some years a great 
portion of the Western Morning News was sent down 
daily in stereotype from an ofiEice in Hatton Gardten, 
managed by Edward Spender, with William Hunt and 
J. F. Hitchman, subsequently of the Manchester Courier, 
for his assistants. Mr. Spender's keen and nice perception 
of local newspaper wants and possibilities was equalled 
by his literary aptitudes and high sense of duty. Such 
qualities might have made him independent of other 
counsel. Mr. Hunt's advice, however, he instinctively 
regarded as too valuable to be neglected. Hunt there- 
fore merits a place in the little group which presented 
the two Western counties with a morning print that 
soon became the household name it has ever since 
continued, from the Exe to the Tamar, and from Mount's 
Bay to the Land's End. Other associations of lasting 
interest cling to the names of these Western journalists. 
William Hunt exercised his journalistic activities far 
outside the limits of his native county. He was one of 
those Iwhose advice had been asked and taken by the 
founders of the Yorkshire Post, iwhose editorship Hunt, 
at a later date, himself was offered and refused. He was, 
however, too good a man finally to avoid editorial respon- 
sibilities in another direction. In 1863, taking Hull 
as the basis of their operations, the indefatigable Edward 
Spender and William Saunders organised an Eastern 
Morning News ; its conduct was entrusted to the best 
available man they had, none other than Hunt himself. 
Edward Spender raised another lasting memorial of his 
journalistic knowledge and energy in the Central Press — a 
news agency whose usefulness, if first felt by the Spender 
papers, soon tommunicated itself to the entire comity 
of the provincial press. Not the least noticeable adven- 
ture of the Saunders -Spender combination was one across 
the Scotch border, which brought about the Caledonian 
Mercury's transformation from a weekly into a daily 
paper. The net result of reviving this ancient 
hebdomadal as a quotidian print, less at the instance 
of Edward Spender than of William Saunders, was the 
Scotsman's ultimate acquisition of the Mercury's plant. 
Meanwhile Edward Spender himself, having personally 
laid the local foundations of the Western Morning News 



JOURNALISTS OUT OF LONDON 301 

by 1862, had moved his residence fr,oim Plymouth to 
London. Here, in the Lobby at Westminster, in one or 
two Pall Mall clubs, and ^.t some of the best houses in 
town, he achieved a reputation, of which any news- 
paper man might be proud, for conscientious excellence 
of workmanship, for skill and discretion in employing 
the news, always trustworthy and often exclusive, that 
he contrived to pick up. The London Letter that formed 
a feature in most of or all his papers was written always 
by himself, never hurriedly or at the last moment, but at 
the rate of a few deliberate paragraphs daily throughout 
the week. Compositions with this title were commoner 
then than they have since becomte. Edward Spender's 
came to be considered a model of its kind. This remark- 
able iman, indeed, may accurately be described as an 
instructor in his craft of others as wiell as a capital 
performer himself. No man could give better hints about 
effective newspaper diction or sounder warnings against 
the pitfalls into which haste often betrays those who are 
far from being neophytes. Thoroughly literate, to quote 
Thackeray's word, himself, both by the closeness of his 
general supervision and the practical details of his proof 
correction, he did his best to impart that distinction to 
all who came under him. William Himt was, of course,, 
a colleague in the quality of whose writing and the 
wisdom of whose action entire reliance might be placed. 
Among his London helpers, J. F. Hitchman and Rowe 
Bennett both testified to the advantages they, consciously 
received from their co-operation with one who knew his 
trade so thoroughly as their chief. 

Time went on ; in accordance with its g'rowing 
tendencies, less of the important work was done in 
London and taOre at the Plymouth' offices. Gradually 
even the despatch of the " stereos " was given up. The 
Plymouth men increasingly, justified Ed'ward Spender's 
teaching ; sometimes they were able to show that the 
provincial as well as the metropolitan press might keep 
well ahead of the Government ;in the receipt of early and 
authentic intelligence or important news at anxious times. 
That proved conspicuously the case duringi the Ashantee 
War, when day after day the Western Morning News, 
in advance of any ofificial despatches, enlightened the 
public as to what was going on ; while questions asked 



302 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

in Parliament of Ministers in charge elicited a practical 
confirmation of the newspaper's account. 

What has here been said about local newspapers 
specified by name is applicable to many other forces in 
provincial journalism not so particularised. The truth is 
that in ino forward movement illustrated by the London 
journalist has his provincial brother been without a share. 
Of late years the Foreign Office as a whole has profited 
much from 'the progressively frequent interchange of the 
London and foreign members of the diplomatic service. 
Something of the same sort has taken place in the 
relations between 'the London and the provincial press. 
The best men from the country find their way to Fleet 
Street permanencies. On the other hand no important 
provincial post falls vacant without attracting many first- 
class metropolitan applicants. Some notion can be 
formed of the trend and results of this movement from 
its most tnodem instances. Nor should these be confined 
entirely within the United Kingdom's limits. The men 
of the English newspaper, as the world has been reminded 
by certain journalistic hospitalities on a grand scale 
held in London early in the present ox late in the last 
century, are not only national but imperial personages, 
in whom the British dominions beyond the seas, as well 
as on this side of the English Channel, have a share. 
During the fifties or the sixties, soon after H. E. Watts 
was exchanging for the post of leader-writer in Shoe 
Lane the editorship of the Melbourne Argus, a paper, 
for its ability and influence, second only to the Times of 
that date, A. P. Sinnett, an important manufacturer of 
Standard editorials in the Hamber and Johnstone epochs, 
was on his way to Allahabad as editor of the Pioneer. 
Even before that, shortly after his first London start at the 
Globe, he had learned something of Asiatic newspaper 
control from conducting the Hong Kong Daily Press. 

Passing to purely domestic instances, the recent list 
opens with Mr. Wi. T. Stead, whoi, from' the Darlington 
office of the Northern Echo, in 1883, came to assist Mr. 
John Morley with the Pall Mall Gazette. On the other 
hand, Mr. James Nicol Dunn has moved to and fro 
between the metropolis and the provinces so as to 
belong almost equally to both. Beginning with the 
Dundee Advertiser, he was then transplanted to the Scots- 



JOURNALISTS OUT OF LONDON 303 

man. Thence be came to London for controlling the 
Anglo -Scottish gifted and defunct sheet, the National 
Observer. After that successively he miade his mark at 
the Pall Mall Gazette, then as editor first of Black and 
White, afterwards of the Morning, Post. His return to 
country pastures followed. To-day he is not only editor 
of the Manchester Courier, but the prolific projector of 
ingenious newspaper combinations throughout the whole 
region beyond the Trent. Prominence has been given on 
an earlier page to one of the most remarkable figures 
among the journalistic stalwarts on the Tory side. Mr. 
J. L. Garvin is now igiving the Observer a new lease 
of life arid power. It was not in the Strand nor near 
it that he gathered the experience which has equipped 
him for his present work. The pupil of Joseph Cowen, 
and therefore one among the very, few disciples now 
existing of David Urquhart, Mr. Garvin wrote mtich and 
after a fashion indistinguishable from his present mature 
style in the Fortnightly Review on foreign politics, in 
the National Review on fiscal matters, before he ex- 
changed the Newcastle Chronicle for the Daily Tele- 
graph, or, a. little later, iriade one of the happiest news- 
paper hits of the timfe 'with the Outlook. The Observers 
registered owner is, of course. Lord Northcliffe, with those 
about him. The sole director of its policy and source 
of the extraordinary influence it now wields is Mr. 
Garvin ; he, to conclude the present references to him, 
has, on his own political side and in his own department, 
been, among Iwriters, without a rival except, perhaps, 
the late Iwan MuUer, who, from the fullness of his varied 
knowledge and natural strength, drove his points home, 
paragraph by paragraph and sentence by sentence, as with 
a literary sledge-hammer. Muller, too, like Mr. Garvin, 
started from a provincial basis, and had become a power 
of the first magnitude on the Daily Telegraph before 
giving fresh iclat to Mr. Cusit's brilliant dispensation 
at the Pall Mall Gazette. Before Mr. Garvin exchanged 
the Newcastle Chronicle office for Fleet Street, Joseph 
Cowen, desirous of dissuading him from, as he thought, 
an unwise step, clenched his protest with : " You are a 
great person with us ; you will be lost in London." This, 
if properly understood, shows not only Mr. Garvin's 
place in the shrewd Northumbrian expert's estimate, but 



304 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

also the practical homogeneity characterising the best 
organs of opinion in the capital and in the country. 

Absolutely the oldest representative of the relations 
subsisting between these two sections already appears 
in the remarks about the Yorkshire Post. Mr. E. J. 
Goodman, now a retired but hale and hearty veteran, 
left Leeds for London in 1874. Previously to becoming 
the first Lord Burnham's right-hand man on the Daily 
Telegraph, he had started a daily venture of his own, 
then entirely novel both in conception and in execu- 
tion, called the Circle. This stopped at the very moment 
of its turning the corner and entering upon the path which 
would have led to commercial success. 



CHAPTER XIII 

THE JOURNALIST IN IRELAND 

The Irishman in exile — ^American influence on the press across St. George's 
Channel — The Franco-Irish alliance — Young Ireland movement and its 
organ — ^Young hearts and hot heads on the Nation — John Mitchell starts 
the rival United Irishman, which is suppressed — Famous men of the Nation 
— Ireland's earliest "dailies" — Foundation oi Freeman! s Journal, 1763 — 
— Amateurish writing — Some notable contributors — ^The Freeman of the 
present — Other South Ireland papers — Saunders' News Letter, the eminently 
" respectable " print, becomes Ireland's leading journal — An Irish newspaper 
king — ^The Murphy papers and their rivals — In the North — The Northern 
Whig — From press to parliamentary and official life. 

In its newspaper manifestations, the Irish genius, like 
the Scotch, has so widely permeated the English press 
as of necessity already to have received more than passing 
attention in these pagies . Jonathan Swift could not avoid 
the admission of having, as he himself put it, been 
" dropped in Ireland." With perfefct truth he could 
insist on his purely British ancestry. He was, however, 
as Lecky has recognised, forced into being a leader of 
public opinion in Ireland ; nor could he divest himself 
of the Irish influences and connection which, from his 
day to Edward Sterling, and from Sterling to Delane, 
have been shared by so many among the chief personal 
forces in our " fourth estate." This, indeed, is but 
another way of saying' that Irish brains have generally 
found the most prosperous and brilliant fields for their 
display elsewhere than in their native land. Charles 
Lever's later writings in his matu.rer and best vein draw 
illustrations of this fact from diplomacy, politics, and 
society, just as his earlier instances of the same truth 
were those sugfgested by the adventures lof war. The 
historian Froude g'ave more circumstantial testimony to 
a like effect in his solitary novel, the Two Chiefs of 

20 305 



306 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Dunboy, with its moral that, once removed beyond St. 
George's Channel, and, if possible, the Straits of Dover, 
no one is more qualified for harvest reaping in com- 
mercial enterprise than the astute exile from the "dis- 
tressful country." 

Not, however, that the Irish journalist at home has 
failed to attain an authority and success that, for exactly 
one hundred and thirteen years, uninterruptedly from 
1797 to the present day, has made him a power in his 
native land from Giant's Causeway to Cape Clear. He 
has also been a conspicuous landmark in the modern 
Irish record, and has not infrequently in his own person 
epitomised the events and tendencies of his time. More- 
over, during the earlier stages of his development the Irish 
journalist was more appreciably influenced than any other 
penmen of the United Kingdom by the wise thoughts, 
expressed for the most part in stately phrase, of the 
statesmen and publicists who gave periodical writers and 
students of political philosophy a model for all time in 
the Federalist. Edmund Burke was about contemporary 
with the Federalist's leading spirits, Madison and Hamil- 
ton. His political summaries for the Annual Register 
may occasionally suggest that he had himself read them. 
He can, however, scarcely be claimed as a father of Irish 
journalism, even on its literary side. The best of the 
working Irish journalists frequently modelled themselves 
on the Federalist. If Burke cannot be claimed for a 
practitioner of the newspaper craft, he showed himself at 
least its prophet when he said that cheapness of pro- 
duction and progressive freedom from State censorship 
would provide both the Old World and the New with a 
rival and controller of Cabinets and Parliaments. The 
traditional connection between England's disaffected 
dependency beyond St. George's Channel and her nearest 
continental neighbour had specially prepared the Irish 
mind to accept and exult in such a prediction. For the 
seventeenth-century French journalist, Rdnaudod, of the 
Gazette de France, had been a personage with a literary 
following on the LifFey while as yet he and his print 
scarcely received the compliment of quotation in Fleet 
Street. So was it, too, with the print, named the 
Mazarine, of Richelieu's successor. Before the seven- 
teenth century closed, Isaac Disraeli's fathers of 



THE JOURNALIST IN IRELAND 307 

the English newspaper, Birkenhead, Nedham, and 
L'Estrange, had done their hfe's work. The Irish 
joumaUst was not, therefore, in advance of his British 
brother when, between 1686 and 1690, he blossomed 
out into the Dublin Newsletter and the Dublin Intelli- 
gencer. His literary ancestors of unrecorded name had, 
however, sat at the feet of French teachers, and acquired, 
for transmission to their descendants, a style of their own 
long before the occurrences of 1797, followed by those 
of 1848, inspired the nationalist rhetorician of the pen 
with the argtiments or aspirations they clothed in diction, 
Anglo -Saxon as to its words, but Gallic or Celtic in 
respect of its rhythm and finish. 

Both in his own country and when a subject of the 
Stars and Stripes, the Irishman took as naturally and as 
conspicuously to newspaper -writing as did the Gaul 
himself. He had, indeed, while as yet Massachusetts 
had not shaken off allegiance to King George, given 
Boston its own Newsletter. By the middle of the 
eighteenth century, in the person of Benjamin Harris, he 
had done the same thingi for New Hampshire. Harris, 
coming in 1704, prepared the way for Benjamin Franklin 
and his pupils. In this way were brought into being the 
personal forces which, having created the press of the 
United States, at once reacted, with consequences scarcely 
less productive, upon Ireland. Individual initiative and 
ideas received indeed help at once timely and indispens- 
able from the general trend of historic events, personally 
manipulated as these were to the prejudice of England 
and the strengthening of the Franco -Irish entente., By 
1797 the Angtlo-French negotiations at Lille for peace 
had finally failed ; Austria had come to an understanding 
with Napoleon. The great war which followed the Revo- 
lution had, for the moment at least, reduced itself to a 
duel between the second I'itt and the " Little Corporal." 
Bonaparte at Paris was marshalling an army intended to 
begin the subjugation of Britain by invading Ireland. 
Grattan and his friends were already organising a Con- 
vention that was to supersede the Irish Parliament on 
St, Stephen's Green. It might be a matter not of months 
but of weeks or even days before the disaffected province 
should be in a blaze of insurrection from Belfast to 
Cork. In the spring of the year already mentioned 



308 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

(i797)> the Franco-Irish conspiracy possessed no organ 
of its own. By the following autumn the movement had 
equipped itself with far the ablest news sheet that had 
as yet arisen from French inspiration and Irish money 
as well as brains. This was the Press. Its responsible 
owner was a small printer named Finnerty. It was run 
with funds' largely supplied by Lawless, and was edited by 
Arthur O'Connor. Its staff included not only the cleverest 
pens of the time, but the most popular political leaders. 
Lord :p;dward Fitzgerald, Chambers, Jackson, and Bond.' 
For more than half a century after the formidable but 
futile effort which brought together, vmder the banner 
raised by Finnerty in the Press, so many capable writers, 
the typical Irish journalist did little more than play 
the part of chorus in a Greek play, keenly criticising the 
party managers and policy on both sides of St. George's 
Channel, picturesquely hinting at the disastrous consum- 
mation that Saxon misrule was preparing for itself. The 
revolutionary year of 1848 raised Irish hopes of deliver- 
ance from Saxon tyranny. Spoiling for a fight, Young 
Ireland had become angry with itself for entertaining the 
comparatively moderate coxmsels advocated "by O'Connell. 
At a little later date, the fine presence and eloquent 
tongue of Feargus O'Connor marked the point at which 
Young Ireland prepared to unite with English Chartism. 
On that union Young Ireland's journal, the Nation, says 
little . Nor did the two movements possess many features 
in common. Chartism began in 1838. It was dying 
out in 1848. The spirit animating the Young Irelanders 
in that year had been at work ever since 1795, ^^^ 
remained an operative force in future risings long after 
Chartism was forgotten. Chartism, too, lacked the 
literary associations, their wealth in which naturally drove 
Yoimg Ireland into print. It thus connected the Irish 
nineteenth-century rising with the literature which had 
inspired the European convulsions amid which the 
eighteenth century closed. For Voltaire had written, 
and, while the French monarchy still existed, the courtly 
audience of the Versailles theatre had applauded the 
words : "I am the son of Brutus, and bear graven on 
my heart the loVe of liberty and a horror of kings." 

• Lecky's Eighteenth Century, vol. vii. pp. 424-5. 



THE JOURNALIST IN IRELAND 309 

Here migflit be found the keynote of the Young Irelandism 
of 1848, as of its newspaper activities. It resembled 
Disraeli's somewhat earlier Young Englandism. The 
Irish movement had, like the English, largely grown 
out of disgusted disappointment with the Whigs, and 
scornful hatred for the official Tories. It also resembled 
the English in being dependent on patrician patronage. 
Its leader. Smith O'Brien— did he not trace back his 
lineage to Celtic kings, as, for that matter, did Feargus 
O'Connor? — was really a man of good birth, highly -placed 
connections, and of considerable fortime, the brother of 
a baron. Lord Inchiquin, the Marquis of Thomond's 
cousin, with a pedigtee going back in a straight line 
to the royal and national hero, Brian Boru. From his 
colleagues Smith O'Brien received an absurdly exag- 
gerated homage that so disturbed his intellectual 
faculties as to disqualify him from giving sane advice 
about the management of the Young Ireland organ, the 
Nation. Its first editor, Thomas Davis, had written 
much verse quite up to the highest album standard, 
and could be trusted to produce eleg'ant prose as well. 
As pilot of the Nafion. he thoug;ht less about keeping 
together and directing a political agency than about pro- 
ducing a miscellany of general interest. Not that its 
largely poetic contents failed to derive some variety 
from an occasional enforcement of the opinions it had 
been started to proclaim-. For O'Connell had split his 
party by telling its young bloods to stop short of actual 
violence. On the other hand, the Young Irelanders who 
had placed Davis in his chair desired to see it frequently 
and emphatically stated that, as Jefferson Brick put it to 
the Colonel in Martin Chuzzlewit, " the libation of 
Freedom must sometimes be quaffed in blood." The 
men who conducted and wrote the Nation showed them- 
selves bad politicians, and therefore worse patriots. 
Smith O'Brien, whose social position and resources made 
him the " boss " of the business, had less aptitude for 
affairs or organising power than the average country 
squire, English or Irish, at that period generally iCon- 
trived to pick up at Quarter Sessions. Davis himself, 
an accomplished and amiable rather than an able man, 
proved the creature of his feather-brained and hot-headed 
band, as well as the dupe of his own fond and perfectly 



310 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

groundless hopes. Alphonse Lamartine, the most senti- 
mental of French Revolutionists, became the Young 
Irelanders' political or literary idol, and used the oppor- 
tunity to fool his admirers to his heart's content. A 
Republic had replaced the monarchy of Louis Philippe. 
Lamartine gulled his Irish worshippers into looking for 
the new French Government's interference on behalf of 
their distracted and oppressed country. In 1797 the 
United Irishmen's earlier org;an, the Press, had misled 
its victims in the same way. A like result followed the 
efforts of those who took their politics from the Nation 
in 1848. The closing scene of the Young Ireland episode 
only came nearly a generation after the organ of the 
movement had ceased to wake many responsive echoes 
with its war -notes. Its decline was due to two causes. 
First, its capitalists began to weary of an unproductive 
enterprise, as well perhaps as to be visited with some 
compunctions about a persistent vehemence of abuse, 
suggestive rather of the weakness of the cause than of 
its strength, and subjecting them at any moment to legal 
pains and penalties. Secondly, the most ferocious of its 
writers, John Mitchel, having been dismissed from the 
paper, started an opposition organ of his own, the United 
Irishman. The proceedings against Mitchel for incite- 
ment to sedition and outrage had ended in his transporta- 
tion. While serving his sentence abroad, he escaped 
to the United States ; in 1875, while still in America, 
he was elected member for Tipperary . The House of 
Commons, then led by Disraeli, decided that a convict, 
although a successful prison-breaker, was disqualified 
from sitting in Parliament. In the same year that the 
appearance of Mitchel 's name revived memories of the 
Nation, another of that paper's contributors succeeded 
in actually entering St. Stephens. This was Edward 
Vaughan Kenealy, notorious for having been the 
Tichborne claimant's counsel. Kenealy had a vague 
reputation, entirely undeserved, for scholarship and 
literary culture ; he had shown nothing of either 
in the weekly journal, the Englishman, which he 
had started, it would seem, for the special 
object of publicly rehearsing the attack that he had 
entered Parliament for the one purpose of making 
on Lord Chief Justice Cockburn. John Mitchel had 



THE JOURNALIST IN IRELAND 311 

died in 1875, immediately after his second election for 
Tipperary. Kenealy lived on till 1880. The man whose 
money had supported the Nation, Gavan Duffy, had 
meanwhile become Prime Minister of Australia, and been 
knighted by his sovereign. Journalism comes as natur- 
ally to the Irishman as politics. The prints whose per- 
sonal fortunes have now been traced are the chief, if not 
the only Irish Newspaper enterprises that have gone 
hopelessly wrong. 

Between the seventeenth-century projectors of the two 
Dublin sheets 'mentioned above and Young Ireland's jour- 
nalistic escapade with the Nation, memories of Swift 
are revived by the name of the man who owned and 
printed one of the two earliest Irish daily papers. This 
was the George Faulkner who, in 1741, published the 
Dean of St. Patrick's Thoughts upon the Present State 
of Affairs. Faulkner, however, had been anticipated more 
than a quarter of a century earlier by another speculator in 
paper and printer's ink ; for Pue, when in 1 700 he brought 
out his Pue's Occurrences, made himself the founder 
of the Irish daily press . A little more than a generation 
later the Irish journalist had advanced to the same stage 
of development as had been completed by his English 
predecessor in 1726. In that year the Craftsman had 
brought the leader-writer full-fledged before the London 
public. In 1763 the Irish newspaper -man similarly 
began to show himself not merely as a collector of news 
but as a creator of opinion. The Irish hatred of the 
English connection did not prevent the newspaper men of 
Dublin from finding in it the same kind of inspiration for 
their enterprise as they had already welcomed from revo- 
tionary France and even from America. The year last 
mentioned was marked not only by the Peace of Paris 
and the protest of six British colonies in America against 
the Stamp Act, but by the fall of Bute, by the subse- 
quent rise of Grenville, Egremont, Halifax. This trium- 
virate's war against freedom of speech generally, and 
in particular its undignified duel with John Wilkes, pro- 
duced in England an excitement which soon reacted upon 
popular feeling across St. George's Channel. The 
medium for expressing that sentiment had been prepared 
upon principles and in a manner far more practical and 
business-like than was to be the case with the already- 



312 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

recounted newspaper adventure of Young Ireland some 
eight decades after 1763. The men who in that year 
brought into being the earliest of still existing .Irish 
journals belonged to the same class as the English 
Woodfalls, the Mallets, the Walters, and others, already 
mentioned in their proper place, who had widened and 
deepened the foundations of the English newspaper. The 
London bookseller had cleared the path for the later 
advent alike of the publisher and the journalist. The 
men who in the Irish capital during the reign of 
George III. profited by the literary exainple of the 
English booksellers were not even printers. They were 
substantial, hard-headed men of business, who had done 
well enough in their respective trades to indulge a toler- 
ably cultivated taste with a typographical enterprise. 
One, probably the chief of their number, bore the same 
name, if he did not belong to the same family, as the first 
secretary to the United Irishmen, when they aimed at con- 
spiring with Bonaparte for the overthrow of English 
rule. The United Irishmen, who were not known by that 
name till 1791, have been misrepresented as lending a 
hand in the Freeman's foundation. Perhaps, however, it 
may be said that these later patriots were the political 
heirs of malcontents in evidence at least a generation 
earlier. At any rate, one of the Tandy name, notorious 
in the nineties, Edward Tandy, a successful draper, hunted 
up two or three other partners in the venture . As a result 
of conferences and efforts, the Freeman's Journal came 
into existence at the sign of the " Maecenas Head," Bride 
Street, Dublin, on September 10, 1763. A bi-weekly 
print, edited by Henry Brooke, it owed immediate popu- 
larity not to the merit of its writing but the colour of 
its politics.' Brooke's control was at first exercised 
jointly with a committee of its proprietors. These, how- 
ever, once satisfied of his entire fitness for the work, 
gave him no trouble, left the choice of writers as well 
as of the paper's policy to this most competent repre- 
sentative, merely stipulating that he should enlist the best 
pens available, and that its general treatment of subjects 
should reach the high -water mark of contemporary 
culture and taste. Among those forming the Freeman's 

' Madden's Irish Periodical Literature, vol. ii. p. 374. 



THE JOURNALIST IN IRELAND 313 

early staff was at least one member of the gifted journa- 
listic family of Lucas. Dr. Lucas no doubt served the 
paper well with his pen, but was never responsible for 
its conduct. Valuing his own services at least at their 
full worth, he had a nephew who, in 1772, started in 
opposition a New Freeman's Journal. This gentle- 
man justified his title on the ground that the idea and 
the iname of the original Freeman sprang from his own 
brains, and that its prosperity had been secured by his 
uncle's writings alone. However telling his articles may 
have been. Dr. Lucas was only one of several from 
whom the paper profited, at least as much as from 
himself. In truth, however, a good deal of what 
appeared in the Freeman's earlier issues was very poor 
stuff indeed, well meriting the time-honoured journalistic 
epithet of " sloppy." The great defects of the Freeman's 
earlier writers were an amateurishness of form and pro- 
lixity of style shared with his contributors by Brooke 
himself. The whole paper only filled one sheet ; of 
this a single article sometimes occupied four or ,five 
columns. In spite of these defects, the high reputation 
belonging to some of the writers redeemed the inferiority 
of their work and to the public even invested it with a 
value that was certainly not its own. Dr. Frederick 
Jebb, the ancestor of Sir R. C. Jebb, the nineteenth -cen- 
tury Cambridge Greek professor, made a hit with his 
pieces sigried " Guatimozin." " Causidicus " (Robert 
Johnson) pleased the public, and largely promoted Henry 
Grattan's Irish Volunteers movement. Grattan himself 
is said to have written first for the Freeman his often- 
quoted character of Lord Chatham. The Dublin .resi- 
dence of Sir Hercules Langtishe, the great Kilkenny 
landlord, social leader, political pamphleteer, and parlia- 
mentary orator, is now the University Club. There in 
the room that was its sometime owner's library, Sir 
Hercules himself composed the prose and poetical pieces 
that at once enlightened the paper and helped his political 
chief, Grattan, whose organ the Freeman became, ^nd 
who, in return, together with Flood, rewarded it with 
more than applause for its attacks on the Government. 
In 1767 the editor Brooke and his chief proprietors were 
agreed that the line taken by the Freeman should, though 
national, be anti-Rpmanist — Grattan himself, it must be 



314 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

remembered, while the champion of Irish independehce 
and of Catholic Emancipation, was a Protestant. Protes- 
tant grievances unredressed, the abominations pf 
Poyning's law, the evils of a military administration, 
arbitrary acts of the Lord -Lieutenant, Whiteboyism, and 
Captain Fearnought's followers encouraged by Govern- 
ment's slackness in executing the laws against papists. 
Popery the true cause of all riots, robberies, insurrec- 
tions—such were the flaming' headlines which, in the 
Freeman's daily bill, anticipated the most sensational 
lines in the American newspaper of a later day. The 
few genuine specimens of Irish wit and humour some- 
times secured by Brooke came in a column headed the 
Copper Alley Gazette, were chiefly rhymed squibs and 
now and then a smartly-written, short prose lampoon on 
the English parliamentary leaders at Westminster, with 
whom Grattan, Flood, and their friends were at perpetual 
war. For the rest, Brooke, like his whole editorial and 
sub -editorial staff, was at least careful not to shoot 
over the heads of his public. The invective said by 
Grattan to form the staple of contents was watered down 
copiously with paragraphs of the lightest chit-chat, as 
well as with long or short dissertations to which exception 
could only be taken on the score of their didactic dullness . 
Flood was another of the public celebrities who became 
a figure on the Freeman. Though a failure afterwards 
in the Westminster Parliament, he had won high distinc- 
tion less for his oratory than his debating* skill in the 
Irish House of Commons, and was considered good 
enough with his pen for a claim to be put forward by 
his admirers to the authorship of the Junius Letters. 

The passing phase in the Freeman's existence now 
glanced at has, of course, long been forgotten in its 
modern position as a leading Nationalist organ, distin- 
guished equally for patriotic sagacity in its politics and 
adroitness of literary expression. To-day its managing 
director is one who, in the Gladstonian House of Commons, 
delighted even his opponents by his ready gifts of bril- 
liant speech, and impressed the coolest of parliamentary 
experts by his mastery of the Assembly's rules, as well 
as of the phraseology and technicalities which so often 
confuse or conceal its legislative procedure. The elective 
Chamber still misses Mr. Thomas Sexton. Irish jour- 



THE JOURNALIST IN IRELAND 315 

nalism generally and the Freeman in particular are 
gaining every day from the transference of his rare 
powers to the work of newspaper control ; at the 
present time of writing (191 1), he is a tower of strength 
to the Freeman not only as its managing director, but 
as himself a. writer chiefly on subjects connected with 
railway amalgamation and land purchase. One of Mr. 
Sexton's former contemporaries at Westminster, Mr. 
M. M'D. Bodkin, was one of the Freeman's most regular 
and effective pens till his public services and his legal 
experience secured him a County Court judgeship.. 
Among other journalists contributed by Ireland to the 
Legislature is Mr. T. M. Kettle. The Freeman's London 
correspondent, Mr. J. M. Tuohy, combines to-day the 
national quickness of brain and neatness of diction with 
an insight into parliamentary and social situations un- 
impaired by the growing tendency to substitute hurried 
telegrams for the carefully -knit narrative of the London 
letter. From the distant nineteenth -century days when 
" Father Prout " (Frank Mahony) represented the Globe 
in Paris to those in which Mr. Tuohy performs a like 
function for the Freeman in London, Cork has been 
prolific of newspaper men. 

Southern Ireland, too, has ever been rich in the essen- 
tially national union of newspaper and parliamentary 
gifts. Of that an illustrious instance has been supplied 
by Mr. Justin McCarthy, now living in retirement from 
politics and journalism alike, and happy in a son who has 
inherited not a few of his father's qualifications for both 
careers. The Cork Examiner, on which Mr. McCarthy 
began, still remains the property of the old Irish family, 
Crosbie. Mr. William O'Brien has before now, by 
acting as its London correspondent, varied his articles 
for the Freeman's Journal and relieved his parliamentary 
labours. Like Mr. Justin McCarthy a Cork man, Mr. 
O'Brien continues a prominent figure in the journalism- 
of his native province. To-day he is perhaps the one 
newspaper M.P. who copiously writes for and owns a 
journal, the Cork Free Press, bearing his constituency's 
name. Mr. O'Brien's paper has proved a formidable 
rival to the sheet whose already-mentioned owners are 
the Crosbies. Its editor is Mr. Herlihy, an incisive and 
prolific journalist, at one time a power on the London 



316 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Stattdard. From what has been already said it will be 
seen that at one time or another most of the Irish 
newspaper-men have had to do with the Freeman s 
Journal. Under its existing" control by Mr. Thomas 
Sexton, this paper, during the last twenty years, has 
had for its editor Mr. William Henry Brayden. Jts 
chief and most useful writers are the already-mentioned 
Mr. Kettle and Mr. Skeffington, both men who impart 
to their work scarcely less of individuality than Mr. 
Sexton infuses into its management. These gentlemen 
are also seen in the halfpenny journal, the Telegraph, 
that supplements the morning Freeman, and that, like 
it, is heart and soul for the Nationalist cause. 

The Freeman's founders, though not printers by pro- 
fession, differed only in the detail of the business they 
carried on from the typical tradesmen, for the most 
part calling themselves booksellers, who figured so promi- 
nently among newspaper projectors on the British side 
of St. George's Channel. Before passing on to those 
who at a later da,te emulated the Freeman enterprise, 
some notice must be taken of a working printer who, 
without, it would seem', much help from any partners, 
contrived to start, eighteen years before the Freeman 
began, the chief journal which may be called that 
paper's contemporary. Just two decades before the little 
group of traders on the Liffey co-operated to produce 
the paper that Mr. Sexton to-day controls, a Dublin 
printer and bookseller, who had learnt his trade with 
George Faulkner, brought into being a broadsheet 
modelled, it would seem, upon those which served 
Daniel Defoe for the English newspaper's foundation. 
Some political trouble into which his vocation as ft 
general printer had brought the man now referred to, 
James Esdall, compelled him to flee the country. He 
transferred his paper to Henry Saunders, who thus, in 
1755, became personally instrumental in giving Dublin 
what was long its most reputable, and what to the 
middle of the hineteenth century remained its most 
prosperous and widely circulated sheet. Saunders' News 
Letter aimed neither at cleverness, originality, nor any 
partisanship except for the official side ; its staple of 
news was English, its information, domestic or foreign, 
had generally done duty elsewhere before appearing in 



THE JOURNALIST IN IRELAND 317 

its own columns. The paper's politics were those of 
Dublin Castle. It was, therefore, in favour with the 
ruling class and with all those who took their ideas from 
the official order. An entire generation has passed since 
its last number appeared. When in its prime it gave 
not only intelligence of passing events, but comment 
on them ; its columns were enriched by the most incisive 
aiid philosophical writers of the day, at whose head 
was the still famous Dr. Shaw of Trinity College. Ireland 
has not to-day, and never had, a paper holding the 
same position as the Times in England. Saunders' 
News Letter during the Shaw period was the nearest 
approach to an Irish Times ever witnessed. 

Ireland, too, may still lack any predominating jour- 
nalistic presence like Lord Northcliffe, but Mr. William 
Murphy, ex-M.P. for Dublin, is at least a very consider- 
able newspaper personage. Mr. Murphy has, too, other 
irons in the fire which justify his fellow-countrymen's 
proud and fond comparison of his national services to 
those performed by Bianconi, of coaching fame, between 
the years 1815 and 1875. Chairman of the Dublin 
Tramways Company, as well as railway contractor in 
East Africa, this gentleman has la,id down the chief 
tram-lines not only in Ireland at Dublin and Cork, but 
in Belfast, Paisley, and in the Isle of Thanet. Mr. 
Murphy also owns the most widely circulated of Irish 
papers, the Independent, price one halfpenny, edited by 
Mr. Harrington, notable, perhaps, even more for his 
business powers than for his literary tastes. Mr. 
Harrington has always shown a quickness of editorial 
sense almost amounting to an instinct in manning his 
paper with political leader-writers like Mr. Lehane, and 
bright and ready masters in the art of paragraph such 
as Mr. Cox, of the Civil Service. Another of the Murphy 
papers, the Evening Herald, has for its chief Mr. 
Joseph A. Rice. Both of these prints are carried on in 
the moderate Nationalist interest. Their managers con- 
form to the growing English practice of giving their 
most important utterances not as editorials but as signed 
articles. Mr. Murphy completes the circle of his sway 
by owning, if not managing, the Irish Catholic, the one 
Irish paper authoritatively expressing the ideas of the 
Roman Church. 



318 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Irish journalistic talent is, however, equal to much 
more than the maintenance of a Nationalist press at a 
high political and literary level. Father Healy, the 
wit, gave Charles Lever hints not only for more than 
one of his most amusing characters but for some of his 
most telling incidents and best contrived scenes. He 
has bequeathed to Conservative journalism a thoroughly 
capable custodian and ornament in his nephew, Mr. 
Healy, whose Protestantism does not make him less racy 
of his native soil as an exponent of Conservative prin- 
ciples. The chief director of the company owning the 
Irish Times is the son of Sir John Arnott, a fine, 
breezy representative of the picturesque old Munster 
Toryism. The proprietorial influence thus co-operates 
with the editor's tact and knowledge, not less of his 
country thap of his craft, to make the Irish Times, 
with its circulation of some thirty thousand, a thoroughly 
popular exponent of Irish thought as well as a literary 
stronghold of anti -Nationalist conviction. Mr. Manders, 
sprung from a good old Irish legal stoick, is a typical 
member of the staff whiich Mr. Healy has igathlered 
round him. Consequently the paper is read by moderate 
Catholics not less than by Protestants, while its editor 
also finds time to do the Du,blin correspondence for 
the Times itself. As hiight be expected, the descendants 
of the man who did his country the service of restoring 
St. Patrick's Cathedral have invested their energy and 
wealth in the press that upholds their faith in Church 
and State. Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness 's eldest son. 
Lord Ardilaun, has successfully organised and effectively 
equipped the more advanced Conservative organs of his 
native capital. Here he has found an indispensable 
colleague in Mr. McPeake, his adroit and able chief 
editor. From the premises supplied by Lord Ardilaun 
are issued the (matutinal) Express, and, later in the 
day, the Evening Mail. Mr. McPeake 's position is the 
more useful as well as pleasant, and his work the more 
easily, agreeably, and therefore effectively done, because 
he serves under a single most capable master. Sir 
Edward Carson, indeed, and one or two of his way of 
thinking, may have a small interest in Mr. McPeake 's 
papers . But the one actively managing proprietor is Lord 
Ardilaun alone. Mr. McPeake, too, is fortunate in 



THE JOURNALIST IN IRELAND 319 

possessing for his right-hand man and chief writer one 
who, like Mr. Longrworth, has in him not a little of the 
great Dr. Shaw's superlatively good material. 

What has already been said about the Conservative 
scribes at work on the press of the Irish capital is enough 
to show that first-rate journalistic brains are not a 
Liberal monopoly. So, too, it naturally is in the northern 
stronghold of constitutional principles. Mr. Frank 
Finlay, during most of the nineteenth century, lived in 
London, and, while having an interest in the Northern 
Whig, was seldom compelled by his Belfast connection 
to desert the little Reform Club coterie, including James 
Payn the novelist. Sir J. R. Robinson, and Mr! J. C. 
Parkinson, to which he belonged. To-day the re- 
nowned Ulster organ belongs to Mr. Smylie, whose 
duties as M. P. for Antrim help rather than hinder him in 
his general supervision of Orange Protestantism's chief 
but not only exponent ; for the Henderson family carry 
the Orange principles beyond even the Northern Whig 
in the Belfast News Letter. On the other side, Belfast 
is indebted to the energy and resources shown by Mr. 
Joseph Devlin, the representative of West Belfast, as 
well as Secretary to the United Irish Leag;ue and the 
'Hibernians, for the counter -blast to the Orange screeds 
which, as its editor, he supplies in the Irish News. 

The resemblance between the typical French and Irish 
journalists, still as actual and as close as ever, is, to 
anything like the same extent, unknown in England. 
Just as much in Ireland as in France has the 
newspaper proved the stepping-stone to Parliament. 
It is doing so to-day. The successive stages in the 
process are few and simple. Beginning as a reporter, 
the aspirant wins promotion to the editorial room. If 
his work be well done there, entrance to the Bar follows 
as a matter of course, and a.11 is clear for Parliament 
after that. Some notable instances of advance on these 
lines may now be given, in connection with the different 
newspapers from which the start has been made. Among 
the Freeman's contributions to Bar, Bench, or other 
official posts are the ex-M.P. Judge Bodkin ; Mr. T. P. 
Gill, now Vice-President of the Agricultural Department 
and trained on the Freeman for the Daily Express 
editorship ; Mr. J. G. McSweeney, promoted from the 



320 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Weekly Freeman's chair to a Local Government Board 
inspectorship ; Mr. Geofge McSweeney, who left the Free- 
man to conduct the Evening, Telegraph, and whose 
rise in the legal profession has since then been un- 
broken ; Mr. Muldoon, whose legal notes in the Freeman 
formed the first rung of the ladder, and who, having been 
Crown Prosecutor for Cork, is now Mr. John Dillon's 
confidential law adviser. Other cases were Mr. Linehan, 
who made his way direct from the reporting staff to the 
position of the Attorney -General's " devil," and Mr. 
Robert Donovan, whose present goal, however, is neither 
legal nor parliamentary, but professorial, in the new 
University. Mr. Redmond has found a confidant and 
the party that he leads a wise adviser in Mr. Clancy, 
for many years one of the Nation's editors before being 
called to the Bar. Notwithstanding Viscount Morley's 
former journalistic co-operation with the late Sir William 
Harcourt on the Saturday and the essays as Quarterly or 
weekly reviewer, remarked upon in an earlier chapter, of 
the Marquis of Salisbury when Lord Robert Cecil, there has 
not often been in England sujch a direct line of advance 
from the newspaper office to public eminence as this, 
though in France it has been and may still be as common 
as in Ireland. The Irish and French politico -literary 
developments also resemble each other in certain changes 
that have almost eqoially come over Irish and French 
diction, whether written or spoken, since the years when 
Lamartine's emotional eloquence in denouncing the 
Orleanist regime inspired much of Young Ireland's 
invectives against the English connection. Whether in 
the Press or in Parliament, the Irishmen of 1797 set a 
literary fashion that was exactly reproduced by their 
descendants of 1848, and that has not even to-day, 
quite gone out. Still, since 1848, notably with Irish 
writers, perceptibly even with the rank and file of Irish 
speakers, there has set in a tendency towards a business- 
like reserve and terseness of expression such as marks 
increasingly the Parliament men and publicists of the 
third French Republic. Mr. John Dillon's, and at times 
even Mr. Redmond's more impassioned passages may 
not only recall Young Ireland's periods in the mid-Vic- 
torian epoch, but may be resonant with the eighteenth- 
century ring. Their picturesque old-world stylism finds 



THE JOURNALIST IN IRELAND 321 

no echo in their party press, and the heats of parlia- 
mentary declamation have not perhaps more effect upon 
the paragraphs of the Freeman or the Northern Whig 
than the dithyrambs of the French Tribune upon the 
wary, vigorous, but disciplined pens who ply the art 
of their historic master Courier in the Gaulois or the 
Temps. The truth is that C. S. Parnell set the example 
of the terse and severely uncoloured diction which in the 
seventeenth century John Pym and John Eliot introduced 
at Westminster. Still, as on the platform so in the 
assembly, Celtic argu,ment and imagination are not always 
to be bound by Saxon fetters. In Pendennis Mick and 
Morgan agree that the taste for eloquence was going 
out more than half a century ago. Yet to-day not only 
Mr. Dillon but even Mr. Redmond and Mr. Joseph 
Devlin are eighteenth century itself compared with Mr. 
Arthur Balfour and Mr. Bonar Law. In France the 
already-mentioned Paul Louis Courier combined with 
Emile de Girardin to give the French journalist a new 
birth. Something like that, it is no exaggeration to say, 
resulted for the Irish newspaper -writer from the exercise 
which Dr. Shaw, of Trinity College, found in Saunders' 
News Letter for his fine Irish brains, for his potent 
arid sternly self -disciplined pen. As a fact, though the 
historical accidents of the time may have given it a 
greater prominence, the relationship of the Irish journa- 
list to the French is not probably closer than that pi 
the English, who, often at the instance of individual 
teachers like the late James Macdonell, began system- 
atically, rather more than a generation ago, to derive 
profit from the study of French masters in his craft. 
Whether in the future he will find his vocation the 
same natural pathway to State service and promotion as 
it has proved to his brethren on the other side both of 
St. George's Channel and the Dover Straits is a point 
belonging not to history but to speculation. 



21 



CHAPTER XIV 

THEN AND NOW IN FLEET STREET 

The journalist in social life — Upward struggle of the penny press — Friends of 
the country papers — Literary influences in the early Victorian Press — ^When 
was the journalistic golden age ? — ^True significance of Oelane's and others' 
" lionising" — ^The journalist still a cipher in party wire-pulling — Hard fate 
of budding writers in army and society — ^Wearing down the opposition — 
Then and now in the press — No real decline in the English newspaper — 
The pressman's relation to the public — ^The stormy petrel of contemporary 
history — Riding in the whirlwind — Disquieting effect on international rela- 
tions — Expert opinion on newspaper influence. 

The progressive fortilnes of the provincial journalist 
interweave themselves at innumerable points so closely, 
with those of his London colleague that the two have 
att equal claim to a place in the same narrative. The 
salne personages, too, as has been already seen, often 
belong almost equally to the metropolitan and provincial 
portrait g'allery. From the social point of view ialso 
the newspaper-men in the capital and in the country 
resemble feach other in the serviceable friends they have 
each at different times fotmd among their more impor- 
tant and representative readers. The editors and writers 
of the penny press, promoted if not actually created by 
the abolition of the " taxes on knowledge," first became 
known to the outside world beneath the roof of the 
man who had led the battle against the paper duty, 
Mr. Milrier Gibson, at his clever wife's weekly, parties. 
They had never been included with Delane and a few 
Bf his occasional contributors, like Hayward and King- 
lake, at Lady Palmerston's Cambridge House receptions. 
The sixties had advanced some way before the prejudice 
against the - penny press " showed many signs of 
wearing off. The despisers of the popular price could 
not deny that the new;s was pften accurate as well ^s 



THEN AND NOW IN FLEET STREET 323 

early, and the writing of the articles very, often good. 
" Ah, yes ! " they added, " but then consider the stand- 
ing and resources of the Times. Its writers, too, are 
drawn from such a superior class, and so thoroughly, 
know what they are talking about. This is what you 
cannot secure on your Telegraphs or Standards." Facts 
are not wanting circumstantially to prove that all this 
was mere conventional prejudice and ill-informed fancy. 
During the eighties a distinguished leader-writer for 
the Times occasionally furnished the Standard, person- 
ally to oblige his private friend, Mr. W. H. Mudford, 
then editor, with an article on a subject he had made 
particularly his own — politics in the Balkan Peninsula. 
Upon one occasion both the papers now mentioned, the 
Times and the Standard, published on the same day 
articles from the same writer on the same topic, so 
skilfully treated, and from a point of view so appro- 
priately different in each case, that the identity of author- 
ship could have been neither seen nor suspected. An 
acute outsider, however, prepossessed with a conviction 
that whatever appeared in the threepenny print must be 
essentially superior to anything in "price one penny," 
in Mr. Mudford 's hearing triumphantly compared the 
Balkan leader of the Times with the " shallow, flimsy 
stuff " oil the same matter issuing from Shoe Lane. 
" Strange," drily remarked Mr. Mudford, " such differ- 
ence there should be 'twixt tweedledum and tweedledee, 
and all the stranger because this particular tweedledum 
and tweedledee were both written by the same man." 

Probably this experience, coming from the present 
writer's personal knowledge, could be paralleled by other 
instances of the same sort in connection with the Times 
and other penny papers than the Standard. 

While, after the fashion already described, Mr. and 
Mrs. Milner Gibson's good offices were removing the 
mists of prejudice from the men of the penny press in 
the capital, they were found scarcely less useful by the 
journalist in those parts of East Anglia and Lancashire 
with which Milner Gibson himself had a jjarlia- 
mentary connection. That, too, was the period during 
which another personal influence was operating towards 
the same end. William Shirley Brooks^ Mark Lemon's 
successor in the editorship of Punch, had, like 



324 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Dickens, though not as reporter but leader-writer, 
been on the staff of the Morning Chronicle ; he 
had also the same experience as an earlier Punch 
man, Gilbert h. Beckett, of being an occasional writer 
for the Times. He condescended to show an 
interest in Mr. and Mrs. Milner Gibson's literary 
prot^g^s, and really did the sheets for which they wrote 
a good turn by bestowing on them what he deemed 
the patronage of recognition by Mr. Punch. A Shrop- 
shire man by birth, he patriotically remenxbered that 
his inative place was really the chief of Salopian market 
towns. While the laurels won by The Naggletons were 
still fresh upon him, he occasionally found, in a short 
and perhaps generally satirical paragraph, an opportunity 
for acquainting the world with the existence of the 
Oswestry Advertiser. 

Meanwhile the Fleet Streejt atmosphere had been 
refined by contact with quite another set of intellectual 
agencies taore widely, subtly diffused, and more healthily 
stimulating than any of those already mentioned. How 
comes it, was the question once put to a person of 
consideration in the councils of Printing House Square, 
that the Times articles read every, day as if they had all 
been Written by the same person ? The answer of course 
is that, on the Times, as for that matter on any other 
paper, there is invariably some pen so masterful and 
so intellectually contagious in its touch as to become 
the object of almost unconscious imitation by, other con- 
tributors. In the case of the journal on which Mr. 
Buckle to-day carries on exactly in their way the work 
of Barnes, Delane, and Chenery, inferior to none of his 
predecessors, the individual writer, it may well be 
without knowing it, is too much subject to that coercive 
abstraction, the policy of the paper, and by its literary 
usages, to show himself affected by those models of 
thought and diction which it would not be beneath the 
digtnity of his craft to imitate. Elsewhere in the Fleet 
Street region, the pens manufacturing for the printer 
his daily supply of " copy " are readily receptive of the 
external influences which the Times writer contracts the 
habit of ignoring. The journalist who, outside the Walter 
establishment, began to address himself to a new and 
wider public during the later sixties, found himself valued 



THEN AND NOW IN FLEET STREET 325 

by his employers and readers in proportion as he reflected 
in his work the dominating! intellectual and literary forces 
of the hour. George Borrow, while collecting on the 
spot materials for the Bible in Spain, had occasionally 
acted as Times correspondent. In the office of !the 
paper which published them, his letters may not have 
seemed an extraordinary event. Half a gfeneration lor 
so later, they became the manuals and the pattem'sl 
not only of Peterborough Court's " young lions," as 
Matthew Arnold called them, but of those whom James 
Johnstone had set to work in Shoe Lane. During 
Hamber's editorship, a young writer named Hertford, 
>who, had he lived, would probably have done jgreat 
things, had so steeled himself in Sorrow's pure and 
easy phrasing that some of the disciple's Letters from. 
Corsica were mistaken by experts for the master's own. 
By this time, also, the journalistic rank and file had 
become students of a more ancient master than Borrow, 
the late George Meredith's father-in-law and classical 
tutor, Thomas Love Peacock. Next a fresh literary and 
intellectual current, making its way under Temple Bar, 
triumphantly entered the whole line of newspaper offices, 
carrying on with it some fresh votaries from each. In 
other words, between i860 and 1870 the journalist, 
however touch his language might conceal the fact, had 
drunk deeply of Carlyle. Almost simultaneously, the taste 
and authority of one or two leading Fleet Street workers, 
particularly Tom Hood, as well as Beatty Kingston and 
vW. J. Prowse, both of the Daily, Telegraph, did much 
towards introducing their follow -craftsmen to the masters 
of thought or style, then at the height of their fame ; and 
Robert Browning's poetry with Matthew Arnold's prose, 
profitably conned by discriminating students, had a share 
in helping forward a perceptible reaction against the 
commonplaces of journalism, and the conventional use 
of the epithets and substantives once known to juvenile 
Latin verse-makers as "otiose." All who saw any- 
thing of the inner life of Fleet Street during the 
earlier struggles of Gladstone and Disraeli for political 
leadership will recall J. A. Froude, George Eliot, and 
another novelist of the same sex, Miss Rhoda Broughton, 
as Fleet Street favourites, alm'ost insensibly stimnlating 
Fleet Street writers to shun " sjoppiness " of phrase 



326 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

as they woiild the plague. Throughout all the time, 
too, now looked back upon, the Universities were daily 
increasing the number of highly equipped recruits which 
they had begun systematically sending to the London 
press, largely through Jowett's influence, during the later 
sixties ; for the remarkable man who, long before he 
became its Master, had identified himself with Balliol, 
not satisfied that his College should produce an tm- 
brokeri succession of illustrious citizens and imperial 
rulers, thought that it should be the nursing mother 
of their public critics as well. 

The Greek myths, one has been told, represent a past 
which was never a present ; so probably, too, is it as 
regards the halcyon epoch so fondly looked back upon 
by, the panegyrists of the past who, with respect to its 
exact date, differ among themselves in everything except 
that we have travelled hopelessly beyond it in the present. 
The journalist's golden age is still very generally thought 
not to have lasted beyond Delane's domination of Print- 
ing House Square. It therefore had for its exact date 
rather the first than the second half of his career. Delane 
magnified his apostleship, no doubt, to the advantage 
of, as he himself used to call it, the whole comity of 
journalism. His rise in society was in the first place 
due much less to his historic editorship than to high 
itavour with one or two of the great ladies who swayed 
the very select company of which society then con- 
sisted. The great political friendship of Delane's life, 
that with Palmerston, did not grow out of his cOmlniand- 
ing position in John Walter's company. In fact, when 
Delane went to Printing House Square he found that 
his predecessor Barnes, so far back as 1839, had inspired 
Palmerston with a disgust of the Times by its satire 
on: the " juvenile old Wihig nicknamed Cupid." Palmer- 
ston's self-love and vanity were wounded at a tender 
point. He visited his wrath against the Times by com- 
pletely ignoring it, and making the Morning Post his 
organ. The feud between the statesman and the " organ 
of the City " only began gradually to heal when Lady 
Molesworth, acting as she had done in many, other cases, 
decided that Delane and Palmerston must be good friends, 
helping each other, and sealed a treaty of personal good- 
will and peace between them at a series of little dinners 



THEN AND NOW IN FLEET STREET 327 

she gave For the purpose in Eaton Square. As for his 
later intimacy with Palmerston, it would never have 
happened had not Delane been used from his youth to 
the kind of society from which Palmerston chose his 
acquaintances, and been visibly stamped with its hall- 
mark. The Princess Lieven and the Duchess de Dino 
had both reached their zenith before the Delane period. 
Each, however, lived into it, and each wrote her memoirs. 
Neither in the one book nor in the other does there occur 
a passage that can be said to form' a tribute to the 
influence of the press. And yet even in those far off 
days, in advance it might be not only, of Delane but of 
Barnes, there were newspaper personages not less indis- 
putably commanding than Daniel Stuart, John Perry and 
tWilliam' Black. If there be any, date at which the 
journalist first came into marked demand with fashionable 
hosts and hostesses, It must be fixed well within the limits, 
of our own time. As regards society and politics the 
journalist was then much" more in evidence than he had 
been twenty years earlier. During this, the twentieth 
century's second decade, the fierce light of the notoriety 
due to power beats on him much more strongly than it 
did within any previous experience. Mr. Garvin, of the 
Observer, for instance, is a power of a magnitude seldom 
or never approached by, any of his predecessors. 

Not that the newspaper man's influence is always to 
be measured by the aggressive visibility of his power 
or presence. Delane was by nature as much of a diner- 
Out as Abraham' Hayward) and really liked evening 
parties, provided the hostess resembled Lady Palmerston 
in not being one of the " stair-head " order, and in 
getting the right sort of people together-. So, too, the 
late Lord Glenesk while, as Algernon Borthwick, he 
handled the reins and whip of the Morning Post. Delane's 
immediate successor, Chenery, kept as much as possible 
to the Theodore Hook table at the AthencBum, and for 
choice would have been every night of the company 
that included Gallenga, Lawrence Oliphant, and King- 
lake. Mr. Buckle has long since renewed and extended 
Delane's fashionable prestige. Other newspaper chiefs, 
nearly or quite the contemporaries of these, have proved 
guests less easily caught. Lord Bumham, Greenwood, 
Mr- Edward Dicey and Mr, W. H. Mudford, in their 



328 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

more journalistically strenuous days, were scarcely less 
economical of their presence in general society than the 
Irish leader of their time, C. S. Parnell, himself. 

To-day, at least as much as, if not more than at any 
previous date, the best doors in town and country still 
fly open to the journalist with any real message or marked 
personality of his own, and to the editor who carries 
heavy guns, as well as knows how to point and when to 
fire them. If, as it has been sometimes said, newspaper 
names of real distinction appear less frequently than they 
did thirty years ago among the guests of ministerial or 
opposition chiefs, that, so far from being significant of 
the journalist's social decline, is really a tribute at once 
to his still -growing consciousness of power, and a 
cautious sagacity infinitely creditable to the men them- 
selves, as well as conclusively demonstrating a steady 
growth in the importance of their craft. If the names are 
not seen^ no one supposes it is due to lack of invitations 
or, for that matter, positive importunities. Politics and 
society, when a certain class of public questions fill 
clubs and drawing-rooms, get mixed up together. The 
whole thing tends to resolve itself into a medley of petty, 
personal or pettier social rivalries. The word " genteel " 
has gone out of use ; the reality remains. The only 
way for the newspaper man, whether one in authority or 
riot, to secure at such a junctiure self-respect and a 
chance of escaping boredom to death is by retiring into 
his shell . Thus, and thus only, he will avoid at the outset 
the entanglement in associations that, before he is quite 
aware, will have gone some way towards committing 
him to support the political idol of one among the 
various competitive coteries to which circumstances may 
give the best chance of winning the editorial ear or of 
engaging the active pen. Any lingering notion (that, 
during the two electoral periods respectively at the open- 
ing' and towards the close of 19 lo, the journalist was 
less in social request than half a century or three-quarters 
earlier, may be disposed of by contrasting the methods 
in favour with the fashionable wire-pullers to secure their 
own ends at the two dates. Between 1830 and 1835 
Lord Lansdowne first spoke of retiring from the Cabinet 
in which Lord Brougham also had a place. The Duchess 
de Dino and some great English ladies decided that this 



THEN AND NOW IN FLEET STREET 329 

should not be allowed. Had a movement of this kind 
been started in 191 1, its authors would have begun with 
giving an exceedingly bad half hour to some gentlemen 
of the profession and in the position then of Mr. St. Loe 
Strachey, Mr. Buckle, or Mr. Spender to-day. No 
thought of any such thing crossed their minds. Instead, 
the Duchess de Dino and a few more went, not to a 
favourite editor, but to the detested Brougham, and asked 
him whether he knew what Lord Lansdowne represented, 
only to be told : " Oh, yes. All the old women in 
England." A certain gentleman more than suspected, in 
the parlance of the day, of writing for the papers, actually 
volunteered the grand stateswomen a paragraph or an 
article. " Thank you," was the reply. " We can do 
very well without the press." And they did ; for Lord 
Jl.ansdowne retained his office. Nor did he throw it up 
before, in 1841, together with all his colleagues, he 
went out in the natural order. During the first year of 
King George V., certain wearers of Whig titles of both 
sexes, also calling themselves Liberals, have hoped that 
the Cabinet might shed Mr. Lloyd George and Mr. 
Winston Churchill. There is no rumour of their having 
gone with such a suggestion to Mr. Asquith, but from 
time to time at least one influential newspaper monitor 
has been moved to an argument that the Prime Minister 
would be lucky if he could shake himself free from two 
such firebrands and marplots. Again, in 1 910, if personal 
friction between a Foreign Secretary and a foreign 
ambassador threatened international irritation, the minis- 
terial press would receive a hint to apply soothing treat- 
ment . How, by way of contrast, let it be asked and shown, 
did they manage these things on the eve of the Victorian 
Age? In 1834 the lordly game of Government -making 
was being played after the grand old manner between the 
great houses, not, on this occasion, on opposite sides, 
but within the sacred pale of Whiggism. By the tacit 
consent of both parties popular opinion was particularly 
consulted in the Postmaster -General's appointment. 
When Melbourne rose to the first place and formed his 
earliest Ministry, he gratified William IV. by putting in 
as the Duke of Richmond's successor and as Postmaster- 
General thte head of a much favoured Court family. 
Lord Conyngham. The Holland House set expressed 



330 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

their dissatisfactioH by a private mbvfement to cancel 
the nomination. They would have been only following 
the Whig precedent, in the case of the Post Office above 
all other departments, had they tried to enlist the 
journalist on their side. The omission to do anything 
of the sort shows how little, even two years after the 
Reform Act, the privileged classes recognised the 
journalist as a power. And this within the decade that 
witnessed Delane's succession to Barnes at the Times I 
Just four years earlier Brougham had taken on himself 
to give, as he put it, Barnes a wigging for an article 
about the Duchess of Kent's absence froni .William IV. 's 
coronation. The writer turned out to be Henry, after- 
wards Lord, de Ros, which, as Brougham said, only 
showed how easily the press autocrats could be " got at." 
If throughout the nineteenth century's first half the 
journalist was, as one sometimes hears, so much more 
considerable a personage than a generation or two later, 
the (foundations of that superior authority would have 
been visibly laid by the end of the Georgian Age. But 
it was exactly then that we see the great ladies never 
condescending to use the newspaper mten whom they 
knew, at least by name, but sending more of their own 
number to deal with the highly, placed men of whom 
they disapproved, or otherwise to fulfil their behests. 
The truth is that, throughout most or much of the nine- 
teenth century's first half, the queens and princesses of 
Mayfair only knew just enough of journalism as at once 
to despise, distrust, just a little dread, all those really 
br reputedly connected with it, and spoke of newspaper- 
writers generally, as reporters, in the same way. that they 
classed every grade of medical man tmder the head of 
apothecaries. The presiding divinity and Egeria of 
Toryism, the consummate Countess of Jersey, the magnifi- 
cent Zenobia of Disraeli's last novel, Endymion, had, 
at one time or another, penned, on the superfine, wire- 
woven post of the period, a paragraph or two which, 
getting into print, she thought might serve her against 
her dreaded and detested rival, the Duchess of Suther- 
land. That great lady, however, had her satellites also 
in the various Mayfair strongholds. The next time her 
rival entered a drawing-room whose occupants were 
engaged in a friendly chat, one of the fair ducal retainers 



THEN AND NOW IN FLEET STREET 331 

Said in a very audible whisper: "You must be careful 
what you say before Lady Jersey. She reports for the 
papers." And this of the magnificently severe Almack's 
patroness, who, a few nights earlier, when the hero of 
Waterloo reached the famous rooms in King Street, St. 
James's, a quarter of arf hour late, and made his way, 
through the half closed doors, accused him' of leading 
a mob — ^actually made this charge against the august 
personification of reactionary Toryism', who so loathed 
newspapers, as well as everything and everybody to do 
with them, that his particular world, the grandest and 
most exclusive of all, , had riot then forgotten, but often 
proudly recalled, an instance of his short way with quasi - 
journalistic intrusion during the peninsular campaign. 
Major -General Sir Charles Stewart, afterwards Lord 
Londonderry, while serving under the then Lord 
IWellington, had been in communication with the Morning 
Chronicle. '' Now, Stewart," was the form' taken by the 
great Gerieral's reprimand, " though your brother Castle- 
reagh is my best friend, to whom I owe everything, if 
you continue writing letters to the Chronicle or to any 
other newspaper, I will send you homte." 

Even" then, however, nothing daunted the journalist. 
In the Anglo-French fashionable slang of the period, 
he was intpayahle. As the modish Yankee dialect of a 
later time might have put it, his cussedness caused him 
to perietrate everywhere, to discover all the secrets he 
wanted, and to indulge whatever might be his tastes in 
his comments on them. Improbas in the peculiarly 
Virgiliari sense was the epithet applied to this irrepress- 
ible, ubiquitous being of pen and ink. No public re- 
prisals against him were possible now. A summons to 
the Bar for contempt of Parliament, and an order that 
meekly on his knees he" should ask pardon for lightly 
speaking of his betters — these penalties could no more 
be meted out to him than could the pillory, the whipping 
at the cart -tail, the ruinous fine, the slitting of the nose^ 
or the cropping oflf of the ears. But whatever his virtues 
or genius, he remained as much as possible the reverse 
of a persona grata even with the politicians whom he 
was ready intelligently to commend, and whom his own 
personal predilections might make him anxious to serve. 
His relation, indeed, alike to Government and Opposition, 



332 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

might best be understood by comparison with a common 
street experience. A husband and wife are violently, 
quarrelling ; an exchange of blows seems inevitable when, 
failing a policeman, a private peacemaker stands between 
the would-be combatants, and implores them to make 
it up. In a moment the two set upon the philanthropic 
pacificator with tongue and gesture, if not with tooth, 
nail, and fist. So during the years sometimes regret- 
fully recalled as the journalist's Periclean period, his 
efforts at intervention in a quarrel between politicians, 
even though prompted by a wish to serve his party or 
his personal benefactor, was really apt to secure hini 
at least a snub from both of the two political adversaries. 
Thus it occasionally continued to be throughout much or 
most of the leisurely time during -which, instead of having 
to feed the press with diminutive slips between midnight 
and sunrise, he received his subject from the editor on 
the afternoon of one day, and was expected to have the 
article ready for the printer the next morning. 

As with the journalist, so with the journal. Both 
have undergone, and are still undergoing, great changes. 
The quality and position of neither have made any really 
downhill movement. Much less, it may at once be 
granted, than formerly is heard about the "policy of the 
paper." That used to be something more than a mere 
phrase throughout most, if not all, of the Victorian epoch. 
The traditions handed down from a long line of prede- 
cessors, who had written for the same journal very likely 
on the same premises, seated at the same table and in the 
same chair, were almost as much present to the leader 
manufacturer as the instructions of the editor under whom 
he was working. Those, too, were the days when the 
editorial " we " was no conventional or meaningless 
syllable. That, indeed, to a great extent has gone by. 

The newspaper system as it exists to-day has, in the 
foregoing pages, been seen to have resulted from a 
long series of personal forces, operating in the same 
direction, but impelled by a great variety of moral and 
mental attributes. From time to time the manifesta- 
tions lof this progress have varied. To-day the men 
whose pens or management produce the oldest and best 
known of morning newspapers conduct their operations 
in as nearly as possible the same manner as was done by 



THEN AND NOW IN FLEET STREET 333 

those who filled their place nearly half a century ago. 
Even, however, with the Morning Post, the Standard, 
and the Daily News, as with the Times itself, the earlier 
methods, if still pursued in principle, have been mo<iified 
in detail. But it is a hurried age. The , old triple 
paragraph article — exordium, discussion, and conclusion- 
has been largely elbowed out by the sprightly tripping 
leaderette and the ever -encroaching occasional note. 
Official information is no longer exclusively given to 
the world through the medium of double-leaded com- 
positions running, as they sometimes did, to a column and 
a half. " Don't give your essays a porch," was Benjamin 
Jowett's advice to the long-windedness of inexperience 
and youth. And the present tendency, towards condensa- 
tion and brevity may be traced back in its beginnings 
to Jowett's former pupils, now widely pervading the 
new journalism. Concurrently with this, the editorial 
" we " has dropped a time-honoured prerogative in often 
entrusting a correspondent, anonymous or bearing an 
expert's, perhaps a known politician's namte, to flash on 
the world, in the editorial column, some State secret, 
recently discovered national danger, or whatever else 
may thus be for the first time communicated to citizens 
and electors, their common country's friends or foes. 
The individual, eminent or otherwise, chosen for jthat 
duty as often as not now receives the formerly unknown 
compliment of not finding his announcement emphasised 
by the professional leader-writer. iWhen those who 
to-day are generals of division in the journalistic army 
were junior captains, nothing was known of this usage. 
It results, however, from general causes which had even 
then begun to operate on many branches of periodical 
literature ; these brought with them a general rising 
against the anonymous system. The reaction towards 
giving every ivriter the open credit for his work set in 
with the monthly magazines. Within the last few years 
it has extended in one direction to the Quarterly Review 
and in another to several of the weeklies. The change 
had been inevitable from the moment that the publication 
from being, as hitherto it always had been, an organ 
transformed itself into a platform. Of that change one 
consequence is the member of Parliament's increasing 
readiness to dispute the professional journalist's claim 



334 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

to a riionopoly of the printed column. To-day there is 
no sheet, daily or weekly, whose editor could not quite 
respectably fill his space with amateur " copy " from 
Westminster legislators, who believe they can reach the 
public ear mtare widely, and effectively by the journalistic 
pen: than on the floor of Parliament or of the provincial 
town! hall. 

So, too, with the news columns ; the paragraphs that 
make up these, domestic or foreign, are no longer of the 
old stereotyped form. In the record of everyday events 
the chronicler is allowed greater rooni for freshness of 
form and individuality in the presentation of common- 
place details . Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace or Valentine 
Chirol at the Tirries^ Mr. Goodman at the Ektity Tele- 
graph, or other ' ' foreign editors" equally of journals new 
and old, like their domestic colleagues — ^though in these 
departments, as elsewhere, the literary manner, if scope 
for it ever existed, has gone out — have secured European 
recognition for their neatness and pithiness. Even he 
who runs while he reads is seldom in such haste that he 
does not notice this as the sumtaary writer's prevailing 
characteristic. Never certainly were higher intellectual 
qualifications and better social antecedents than to-day. 
possessed by newspaper -writers of every kind. The 
prestige of the Saturday Review, as explaiiied on an 
earlier page, was among the earliest of the attractions to 
Fleet Street for successive companies of young men 
combining good position with high university record. 
The movement which began then has gone on con- 
tinuously ever since. Whether in the case of the old 
journalists or the new, the competition for entrance into 
the number is equally keen on the part of aspirants' 
belonging exactly to the same order as those who, on 
leaving college, formerly qualified themselves for a country 
gentleman's duties first by the Grand Tour, afterwards 
by a call to the Bar. Pliers of the newspaper pen may 
occasionally suffer from the abuse of their professional 
designation as much as the artists of the stage. The lady 
of loud dress and golden hair who figures in a nocturnal 
altercation with the police often describes herself as 
an actress. The strayed reveller whose name is on the 
charge sheet at Marlborough Street is called a journalist. 
As a fact, newspaper men of every department have 



THEN AND NOW IN FLEET STREET 335 

shared the leader -writer '5 rise in antecedoits and quality. 
The parliamentary staffs in particular consist largely of 
university men educated for the Anglican, Scotch, and 
Roman Churches, or men not unfrequently qti^lified as 
physicians and surgeons not less than barristers -at -law. 
Such being the journalist's modem equipment for his 
work, what are his relations to the public he is supposed 
to influence or instruct? The one English satirist, 
Jonathan Q'Dell, who has had anything to say bearing 
directly or indirectly, on the Anglo-Saxon press, sum- 
marises its general tendency, and service in some 
vigorous couplets generally unfamiliar enough to be 
quoted! here as follows s — 

"When civil madness first from man to man 
In these devoted climes like wildfire ran, 
There were who gave the moderating hint, 
In conversation some, and some in print ; 
Wisely they spake — and what was their reward? — 
The tar, the rail, the prison, and the cord." 

The moderating hints mentioned here, followed by any 
reduction of the popular temperature, must always have 
been journalistic rarities. The newspaper man's task 
as he has conceived it to be prescribed by passing! 
events has, under all dispensations, been rather to stimu- 
late than control popular feeling. Even the great Delane, 
the exact counterpart in journalism! of Palmerston in states- 
manship, with the august traditions of his predecessors 
behind him and the cool counsel of John Walter at his 
side, was, as has beatj already shown, throughout the 
Crimean War episode, carried onward by the wave of 
excitement just as much as the man in the street, whose 
oracle, indeed, he became. What the editor then felt, that he 
instructed his contributors to write. And this has proved, 
as probably it ever will, the general rule. The collective 
omniscience of the press prides itself on not fearing com- 
parison with the corporate smattering of Parliament. Both 
the one and the other echo rather than make much real 
show of restraining or regulating popular sentiment in its 
more excited moods. The journalist, indeed, if he happen 
also to be a proprietor, can never have an interest, as he 
is falsely accused, in a desire for war as a means of 
increasing his circulation and filling his pockets by a 



336 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

mtiltiplicity of special editions. To begin with, the 
chief source of his income is his advertisements rather 
than his sales. To secure those auriferous aimovm.ce- 
ments, he must indeed be able to guarantee the aniount 
of publicity that a large circulation; only secures. But 
that condition once forthconiing in a sufficient degree, 
he is not gteatly concerned for the exact number of issues 
sent forth each morning to the newsagents. When the 
Daily Telegraph, for instance, had achieved the " largest 
circulation " and had become the most paying' advertise- 
ment medium in the world, it used to be said that the 
paper lost rather than gained on every unnecessary copy 
that its machines turned off. That may have been a 
figure of speech. The cost of n^intaining an army of 
special correspondents, and the immense sums paid for 
the columns transmitted daily to headquarters by the 
telegraph wire, leave, it may certainly be said, very little 
profit on the additions they secure to the normal 
returns of the publishing department. Nevertheless the 
journalist has long been, and will probably, always 
remain, a stormy petrel, a fisher in troubled waters, 
one whose activities tend to excite, not moderate, 
the popular passions. Like the angel to whom:' 
Addison in his poem' compares Marlborough', he may 
" ride in the whirlwind " ; he seldom^ however, even 
attempts to " direct the storm." His readers expect him 
to emphasise and intensify their own prejudices or con- 
victions, resent it if he makes a show of contradicting 
or correcting, and at the utmost only allow him to flatter 
their vanity by discovering, as the more thoughtful 
of newspaper men do, an intellectual basis for their 
emotional preferences and antipathies. iWiho, they, are 
apt rather impatiently to ask, is the individual writer 
that he should sit in judgment on a jury of his fellow- 
countrymen ? The journalist therefore may, inflame, may 
even instruct public opinion ; he does not create it. 
Nor on great public questions at home or abroad does 
he often, save by stimulants, influence it. He may, how- 
ever, and jn the case of party papers does, somfetimes 
affect the line taken by the party managers. That was 
conspicuously done just before the general election of 
1 910 by Mr. St. Loe Strachey, of the Sjnectator, who, 
having long appealed to the Conservative chiefs not to 



THEN AND NOW IN FLEET STREET 337 

divide and weaken the party through pledging it top. 
unconditionally to Tariff Reform, had the satisfaction of 
finding Mr. Balfour exactly respond by declaring that it 
was for the nation, not its statesmen, to decide its fiscal 
policy. Mr. St. Loe Strachey thus supplied an interest- 
ing proof that a newspaper is strong precisely in pro- 
portion as it is independent ; for his journal is not, and 
never has been, conventionally partisan. 

The concentration of newspaper properties into com- 
paratively few hands is not likely to produce any new 
departure, but rather to extend and deepen the tendency 
now mentioned. The journal, indeed, we have already 
made it abundantly plain, was never primarily designed 
by its promoters as an educational or philanthropic 
agency. It has always been a business enterprise whose 
success has depended on its supplying, as the halfpenny 
papers conspicuously have done, a real want, and in 
giving day by day inform|ation and entertainment of the 
kind which the masses appreciate. The individual 
writer may be of less importance in the new system 
than formerly. He may, perhaps, complain that he has 
less fixity of tenure than he would like. He has probably 
not his former chance of becoming a literary power 
on a particular sheet before he is moved off to another 
owned by the same employer. On the other hand, he is 
not without substantial compensations. Never was he 
allowed freer play for his own particular turn of fancy, 
humour, or .wit, provided only that these qualities ^.re 
backed by brain power, and have in them enough strength 
really to make their mark. That condition demonstrably 
fulfilled, he may now indulge his literary idiosyncrasy after 
a manner he co.uld never have done before, and exactly 
in the shape which he considers most effective. In 
other words, he need not restrict himfeelf to the con- 
ventional leader form. He is free to choose the exact 
variety of composition which suits him best. Whether 
it be narrative, allegory, or dialogue, the more novel 
the shape he has given' it, in the present day, the better. 
Interviews, conversations, real or imaginary, between 
interlocutors alive or dead, short copies of satirical or 
serious verse — if he can put really good wine into these 
new bottles, he has in twentieth -century journalism a 
dozen chances of making his personal mark where, under 
the old regime, he would inot have had one. 

22 



338 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

To pass froM the journalist himself to his relation to 
the Government under which he lives : it was a French 
newspaper hand of the highest order, Emile de Girardin, 
who called all writers for the press " mischievous and 
mutable," declaring they only repeated what their pur- 
chasers liked to hear. Better, he exclaimed, than a free 
press in a free State a despotisnti' instructed by a few 
trained statesmen, who are much more likely than the 
newspapers to tell the tyrant what the other side thinks. 
That to some extent has been the opinion held by more 
than one English authority, with something of an expert's 
knowledge alike of journalism' and politics. Internation- 
ally, once said Sir Charles Dilke, the press almost or 
quite invariably does and must do more harm than good. 
Hear what another authority has to say about the same 
subject. " The diplomatists and Foreign Ministers of 
Europe would get on perfectly well together, and settle 
their own differences comfortably, but for the new 
journalists' intermeddling and stirring up international 
jealousy and spite. It is a disgtisting spectacle, which 
makes me feel thankful that I am seventy years of age." 
So, in a letter to the present writer, in the last year of 
his distinguished life. Sir Mount' Stuart Grant -Duff. 
Recent years have habituated the public to the idea of 
international press conferences, and the periodical inter- 
change of hospitalities between the newspaper men 
of different European capitals. But one must remember 
that it was not the journalist who did much to help 
forward the mediatorial mission discharged by King 
Edward VII., and that, as Bismarck said of the Parisian 
Globe or Patrie before Napoleon III.'s coup (Vetat, as 
regards recent Anglo -German relations the mutually em- 
bittering influence proceeds as often as not first from the 
journalist, who increasingly seems to think that his duty 
to his paper requires the discovery of a new crisis or 
a new era. 



CHAPTER XV 

THE SUB-EDITOR— "THE VERY PULSE OF THE MACHINE" 

Another side of journalistic life — ^The sub-editor: his work, influence, and 
importance — Newspaper reputations made or marred in the sub-editorial 
columns — Characteristics of American sub-editing — Have editorials any real 
influence? — American reaction on the English press — ^The science of 
"writing up" as demonstrated by the Yankee — Humble imitators in 
England — Training the newspaper writer for his work — ^All roads lead to 
journalism — " Time's whirligig" — ^The press supplants the patron as literary 
critic and bread-giver — ^A modest offer of ten-guinea "leaders" has no 
taker — ^Nothing new under the sun — ^Newspaper runners and writers reflect 
all the forces which are the mainspring of the nation's life. 

So far the journalist with whom' we have had to do has 
been an occupant of the editorial chair or a leader-writer. 
Incidentally, indeed, mention has been made of his work 
in the Westminster Galleries, as well as of his varied 
acquaintance with life and character not less than with 
books. The journalist, however, has many readers who 
know him best, not as a parliamentary reporter, political 
or social lecturer, but as one who collects a diurnal 
miscellany of news items. These judge him and his 
paper's tone much more from the sub -editing than from 
his original coniments . As a fiact, a newspaper's character 
and circulation practically depend more upon the sub- 
editor, his methods arid his men, than on the Sterlings 
and Edwin Arnolds of a bygone day, or the Humphry 
Wards, W. L. Courtneys, A. G. Gardiners, G. K. 
Chestertoris, P. W» Wilsons of the present. So practical 
an authority as the late Frederick Greenwood held that 
with the Bulgarian Atrocities agitation of 1878 the 
English sub -editor first began to be •' Americanised." 
The policy of the paper was a consideration more power- 
fully present to a journalist of an earlier generation than 
in these days when, after the fashion already explained. 



340 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

the newspaper tends increasingly to transform itself front 
an organ into a platform. The importance, therefore, 
of the leader-writer or the occasional contributor,, 
honoured with wide -spaced type, diminishes rather than 
grows. But while the value of the original pen thus 
varies, the necessity of paste and scissors remains always 
the same. The sub -editor, in fact, is he who may have 
even more to do than the editor himself, from the public 
superficial point of view, with stamping, by what issues 
from his department, its social and moral character upon 
the entire sheet. The articles, leading or headed, are 
thoroughly read and meditated on by a comparative few. 
The news paragraphs, if sometimes stowed away in rather 
obscure corners^ are seldom missed by thousands and 
tens of thousands. An unsavoury epithet, a printer's 
error involving some euggestion repulsive or ridi- 
culous, may do a newspaper more harm than the noblest 
sentiments, expressed in corresponding language, can 
accomplish of good. The sub -editor's work is often 
called mechanical. He, however, it is who more than 
shares with the editor hipiself the custody of a news- 
paper's reputation for adaptability to household reading, 
for general entertainment, and above all things for the 
absence of whatever might bring the blush to the young 
face. On the country press no single journalist ever did 
more than the already mentioned Edward Spender to 
raise the sub -editorial standard. In London the earliest 
influences in the same direction were exercised hy none 
more powerfully than by the Daily Telegraph's creators. 
Thus it is that by degrees it is now the exception to 
find any member of a sub -editorial staff unequal jto 
responsibility for the good taste, and even the good 
grammar, not only of mere paragraphs, but of wlhole 
reports and other items of late intelligence. Editors-in- 
chief, therefore, have always aimed at reading every small 
print entry before going to press. Though in theory 
that may never be left undone, it is physically impossible 
that the rule should not have exceptions, tending greatly 
to increase the sub -editor's responsibility and importance. 
It is through the miscellaneous matter of the sub -editorial 
columns, arranged to suit each issue's particular make- 
up, that libel for the most part finds its way into print. 
Technically, assistant editor and sub -editor, if some- 



THE SUB-EDITOR 341 

times used indifferently, are not really synonymous. As 
a fact, however, in addition to the more prosaic routine 
of his department, the sub -editor may often be called 
upon! to discharge duties strictly speaking editorial. In 
England his qualifications were never higher than to-day 
for such calls. The Daily Chronicle's first editor, R. W. 
Boyle already mentioned, a man of much cultivation and 
literary taste, began as sub-editor on the Telegraph 
first, on the Hour afterwards, and in all the other posts 
he filled did a work and set an example that still live to- 
day. On the other side of the Atlantic, the sub -editor 
has become a still more important personage than here, 
and the selection of news that he makes decides to which 
of several classes the journal itself belongs. It all 
depends on the tendency and contents of the sub-editorial 
columns. The yellow press editor devotes some twenty, 
per cent, of his space to crime and vice. Sometimes 
he contrives to satisfy his employers while reducing it 
to five per cent. He is then called a conservative sub- 
editor, and exposes himself to the charge of squeamish- 
ness . The American newspaper owner or manager boasts 
of being a tradesman who supplies his customers with 
unhealthy as well as healthy news if they come to his 
shop to ask for it. He does not keep a preaching house 
but a store, and is free to sell any poison they ask for, 
provided he does not infringe the law. " If you complain 
of this," he adds, " go to the police-station, but don't 
come bothering me." 

The English sub -editor, metropolitan pr provincial, 
seldom, probably never, has to do with an employer who 
puts it quite as cynically as this. But if his proprietor 
cannot copaniand the success of political influence he 
must sometimes make the most of the profits that come 
from scandal. To-day the public has ceased to lament or 
even notice the absence from any leading columns or 
elsewhere of the journalist who wrote the literary style 
of the nineteenth century. The leader itself, it is said, 
can be demonstrated an imposture ; for in 1906 the 
London editors almost to a man published Unionist 
leaders ; but, as the Unionist rout which at once followed 
showed, with no advantage whatever to the party. Again, 
in the provinces, for the best part of half a century, the 
sustained and rare ability of the Manchester Guardian's 



342 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

Liberal chamfiionship did not lose the Lancashire Con- 
servatives a single vote. There is never any lack of quick 
returns for the sub-editorial muck-raker who, in crisp 
and highly coloured phrase, throws the flashlight upon 
the nauseating and poisonous mysteries of crime after the 
fashion of the sixpenny shocker or the penny novelette. 
While these lines are being written, Mr. Moberley, Bell, 
the Times manager, is said to have made a move in the 
right direction by stating that if a certain class of police 
reports and divorce cases were kept by law from news- 
paper publication, his own feeling and that of others 
besides his proprietors would be only one of relief. 
But in England, it iriust be remembered, the Blue-Skin 
paragraph monger flourished long before we could boast 
any disciples of that American master described as the 
sub -editor's best exemplar because he -'- knew exactly 
where hell would break out next and had a reporter on 
the spot at once." A Chicago estimate fixes the present 
total of the world's newspapers at sixty thousand,' and 
claims a third of this amount for the United States . These 
figures, no doubt substantially accurate, serve at once to 
remind one of, and to explain, the progressive closeness 
of journalistic and literary as well as social intercourse 
between the Anglo-Saxon race on both sides of the divid- 
ing ocean ; and the Britisher would be vuigrateful if he 
ignored that to Yankee inspiration may be referred most 
of those colossal newspaper fortunes whose acquisition 
by his own cotmtrymien he so greatly admires. The 
preparation of a striking bill has always been the English 
jounialist's last business before going to press, James 
Gordon Bennett, of the New York Herald, became his 
earliest instructor in the manufacture of startling head- 
lines. Then came several other journalistic masters from 
the Far iWest, including Samtiel Ward (" Uncle Sam "), 
boss of the Lobby at Washington and king of bon 
vivants at Delmonico's, the Chevalier Wikoff, who once 
passed for one of Palmerston's secret agents, and the 
editor first, from' 1875 the owner, of the New York 
World, W. H. Hurlbert, already before his arrival well 
known to and much thought of by those shrewder 
journalists here who saw there was something more to 

' The American Newspaper, by James Edward Rogers, p. 17. 



THE SUB-EDITOR 343 

be learned froirt America than scare and sensation - 
mongering in print. Till then there had been no news- 
paper man from the other side whose opinion went for 
more in our own Fleet Street, or who, when an English 
paper needed a little financing, was more responsibly, 
consulted by the British capitalist before the cheque 
was given. Not less of an oracle with the peers and 
publicists of Mayfair was Mr. G. Wi. Smalley, so lorig 
the imiversally popular and admired New York Tribune's 
correspondent before he represented the Times at Wash- 
ington. To the same order as Mr. Smalley belongs the 
American scholar and philosopher, Mr. E. S, Nadal, who 
in the Nation gave his countrymen something between a 
New York Saturday Review and Spectator, not much 
below either British model. Mr. Okey Hall, of the New 
York Herald, was in the eighties another of those who 
convinced not a few journalistic Britishers of the 
superiority of American notions to home grown ideas. 

In traversing the United States from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific, one passes through several distinct newspaper 
zones ; the American visitor will find nothing of the same 
sort here. At no stage of his journey will the traveller 
through the States see a journal able to turn out an 
American President during his term of office any more 
than' the London Times can eject a Lord Mayor. He 
will, however, find no spot where the journalist fails to be 
the dominating central force — the acknowledged teacher 
and oracle of the whole community, supplying it not only 
with its opinions on public affairs, but its ideas of life 
g'enerally, of the arts and graces of society and, hy 
systematic extracts or references, with an insight into 
the literature of all ages as well. In an address delivered 
by him to a purely journalistic audience at Cambridge 
in August, 1894, Professor R. C. Jebb dwelt on the 
American newspaper as a universal educator, with- 
out an exact British equivalent. May it not be said 
that in our own land the latest conductors of cheapi 
newspaper enterprise, with their Universal Educators, 
and other varieties of omniscience tabloids, are making 
the journalist not less ubiquitous in England than in 
America? Both countries are newspaper ridden rather 
than newspaper ruled. In both', too, the journalistic 
babel created by the multiplication of sheets on the same 



344 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

side or on different sides has resulted in a confused 
din, deafening the public to the journalist's voice, and 
so far subversive of the journalist's influence. 

To some extent in London itself, but generally through- 
out the provinces, the popular demand is for increasingly 
full details of sport, cricket and football, as well as, 
racing, among the latest news which may come in while 
the sheets are going through the press and the editor 
has left the premises. This inevitably increases the sub- 
editorial power, and in practice makes the chief of the 
news department the most important person in the place . 
The more recently established and the fewer the restrain- 
ing traditions of the London or country journal, the 
greater the sub -editor's inducement to find his model 
ready-made in the notoriously successful, the eye-com- 
pelling and the purse -opening contents bills and news 
paragraphs which line the entire route from Long Island 
to San Francisco. The arts of working up the tamest 
item of news into thrilling narratives of misery, crime, 
of clever gallows -cheating, or of the accumulation of 
more than Monte Cristo's millions are, it must be 
admitted, as yet only in their English infancy. Still, 
we are getting on, and the British newspaper " boss " 
sees at every stage fresh signs of his own resources 
and power. As he steams out of Euston Square, he 
throws back a lingering glance on posters announcing 
his day's wares in type that would stare out of face a 
circus bill or a new patent drug advertisement. From 
the railway carriage he may witness the blazonry of his 
own bills proudly triumphant over such petty competitors 
as Oxo, Wincarnis, and Beecham's Pills. On descending 
at Manchester the " boss's " eyes are dazzled by local 
placards of his own: sheets typographically quite eclipsing 
those on which his eyes last rested at the metropolitan 
end. Thank heaven, he piously murmurs, for a "sub" 
who knows his business ; and indeed all these things are 
the sub -editor's handiwork. 

The course of literary ambition was neatly said by 
James Hannay to begin with aspirations for high poetic 
renown and to end with promotion to a sub -editorship. 
And even to-day the sub -editor purely British bred and 
trained has not always divested himself of his literary 
prejudices and associations sufficiently to suit the news- 



THE SUB-EDITOR 345 

paper magnate who thinks that literature and journalism 
ought to be kept as distinct froni each other as science 
and theology. The American tongue, indeed^ is now 
known by the English journalist of every degree, and 
for many expressive phrases, such as " g'oing strong," 
is useful enough. But not all the reputedly newest tricks 
of the journalistic trade are Yankee novelties. Thus; 
telegram exploitation had been known in Fleet Street as 
long as telegrams themselves, and in fact earlier. Later 
improvements in this direction are now described in the 
vernacular of their native land as " playing-up " news, 
doctoring news, and falsifying news. AH this may be 
done with greater smartness in the Far West, but in 
some form or other it was all known and practised in 
London as soon as in New York. Hence the sub -editorial 
obligation of the Old World to the New has probably 
been somewhat over -rated. There is room for a giood 
deal of casuistry in any attempt to estimate the true 
character of these refinements in journalistic practice. 
One cannot help speculating how far they, may come 
within the ken of the Chair of Journalismi which at least 
one English University has been credited with the thought 
of founding. That, however, might only set one on 
wondering how far the Professor of Moral Philosophy 
might always approve the lessons taught by his journal- 
istic colleague. 

To confine oneself to accon^lished fact, what is the 
machinery already at work for improving the supply 
of skilled hands in every section of the newspaper naill? 
The Prime Minister's nursing mother, the City of London 
School, has not only opened a class of journalism', but 
gives a travelling scholarship to the best pupil. King's 
College, London, and Birmingham University both 
train newspaper reporters and writers of every kind in 
the way they should go. In Tudor Street, Blackfriars, 
is the Institute of Journalists, established with the idea 
of being a trade union for newspaper men. It has, 
however, since been captured by the newspaper masters. 
Among its earlier Presidents was Lord Glenesk, succeeded 
at the present time by Mr. Harry Lawson. Its pro- 
gramme includes periodical meetings in the great 
provincial centres, with much hospitality from municipal 
bodies and local big-wigs of every degree. The discus- 



346 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

sions whicK vary the social functions are seldom without 
much real interest, if perhaps, also, too abstract or general 
in their tone to serve a very practical end. The Institute 
of Journalists will, however, be of real service to the work- 
ing journalist if only because it often acts as a benefit 
society by granting money votes to newspaper men and 
their families who have fallen on evil times , The sound- 
ness and prudence of its adniinistratiori are beyond 
suspicion, but the complaint is sometimes made that 
the conditions on which help is doled out noay be often 
such as to prevent the self-respecting' journalist from 
being an applicant. The Institute of Journalists had 
existed some time when its social and economical methods 
were charged with not being sufificiently parsimonious or 
severe. The censorious and frugal northerners there- 
fore started a National Association of Journalists which, 
not dissipating its energies on the Institute's conferences, 
devotes itself entirely, to the journalist's professional 
welfare. Amongst several of the eminent and amiable 
wealthy interested in newspaper men's well-being was 
Baroness Burdett-Coutts. The charming little villas built 
on her Highgate property for the clerks in Coutts's 
Bank, but not entirely utilised in the intended way, might, 
the good lady thought, be available at a nominal rent 
for journalistic occupants. The idea, however, while 
both considerate and picturesque, proved no more 
practicable than Bulwer-Lytton's scheme many years 
earlier for grouping those who were to form the Guild 
of Art and Letters in nests of model dwellings tmder the 
shadow of Kneb worth Park. 

Enough has been now said to show that the journalist 
in this, the first year of the new Georgian Age, is: the 
subject of two diametrically opposite movements. On 
the one hand his energies have carried professional 
organisation to an extreme point. On the other, the 
gates of his craft were never apened more widely to 
newcomers quite independently of qualifications ; nor 
was so much passably good newspaper work ever before 
done by the outsiders who have preferred the press to 
the wine trade or governessing. And this for a wage 
that is at best but nominal, and in reality only from 
a wish for a start in connection with the mig'hty 
engine concerning which Thackeray made Warrington 



THE SUB-EDITOR 347 

apostrophise so eloquently in Pendennis . One who, in 
his time, had been journalist as well as Parliament nian 
and author, '' Eothen " Kinglake, used to say, that the 
literary difference between his own earlier days and those 
into which he lived was that everyone now hurried to 
print what nobody thought it worth while to say then , 
If one does not exclude those who send letters to the 
editor, it will be scarcely, ah exaggeration to say that 
the hundred and twenty -two years of existence now com- 
pleted by the Times have witnessed the growth of almost 
as many newspaper writers as there are readers. 
This process is likely to increase rather than diminish. 
In the first place, throughout much of the Victorian Age, 
when married and research fellowships were yet unknown, 
the majority of the cleverest men who turned their backs 
on their university still took up active work in education 
or in the Church. To-day these often begin by being 
professors at the new local universities or university^ 
colleges. iWhen their term of ofi&ce expires, they, may, 
find themselves without anything fresh to say concerning 
the Latin poets of the Silver Age, or the unsuspected 
references to modern democracy in the poets of the 
Italian renaissance. They are forced, of course^ into 
any hack work they can find, and for literary hacks, if 
they, are worth anything, the newspaper pace and pay 
are at least six tinites as good as the average publisher's 
terms. In the second place, scarcely a yeajr passes now 
without the retirement from Westminster of someone who 
has either achieved Cabinet rank, or who is well on his 
way to it, not because of any, false step which may 
have marred his career, but for the simple reason that 
he has wearied of the exasperatirigly inadequate results 
yielded by the expenditure of physical, intellectual, 
nervous, and pecimiary force at iWiestminster. Of 
Parliament men who have exchanged politics for 
book-writing, newspaper -writing, or for both, no one 
has done so with more public distinction or satisfaction 
to himself than Sir G. O. Trevelyan.j he, with intellectual 
vigour and even freshness still unimpaired, while yet on 
the right side of threescore years and ten, obeyed 
Nature's earliest warning, and, before being quite ex- 
hausted by the '' nights of endless talk " that he has 
naentioned in his own Ladies in Parliament, sought repose 



348 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

that has enriched English letters with his Arrierican 
Revolation, and has been brightened by his son's fulfil- 
ment of the best Trevelyan traditions at the Education 
Board. Another Harrovian, Sir George Trevelyan's 
junior, Mr. G. W. E. Russell, was only forty-two when 
he gave up his seat for North Bedfordshire, and pro- 
duced, in addition to an immense and regular supply of 
good newspaper material, the best monograph of which 
so far Matthew Arnold has been the subject. The latest 
instance of a like retirement is that of Lord Fitzmaurice ; 
he, indeed, had always kept his pen pretty free from 
the journalist's ink. Now, "in the intervals of 
political biography, his interest in newspaper work 
to-day more than compensates him for retirement from 
business at Westminster. Thus does Time's whirligig 
work its revenges, and Wisdom' justify herself of her 
children. The journalist, as we have seen, began by 
stirring up against himself Parliament's persistent 
jealousy and scornful hate. He criticised or even 
observed its proceedings almost with a rope round his 
neck. He knew the ascent to the pillory as well as he 
did his own doorstep. In the near distance stood the 
common hangman, in one hand holding the whip which 
was to flog himi at the cart -tail round the town, in the; 
other displaying the shears that were to crop his ears 
before the day's programme was finished. A restless, 
unconscionable, irrepressible kind of being, he was, in 
the natural order of providence, suffered to spit his lies, 
libels, venom of all sorts abroad, and generally to infest 
the earth just as a like tolerance was granted to beasts, 
to birds of prey, and to other noisome creatures. Before 
the eighteenth century was out, the mightiest and most 
philosophical intellect in the Parliament of his day, 
Edmund Burke, had found out that this generally dis- 
trusted, detested, but inextinguishable person had laid 
the foundation of a Fourth Estate. So things went on. 
The future Prime Minister who, ten years before the 
Victorian Age, worried poor Mr. Murray into starting 
the Representative, found, in the episode of that luckless 
print, some hints for the Carabas episode in Vivian 
Grey ; eleven years later it was as a " gentleman of the 
press " that Benjamin Disraeli won his election for Maid- 
stone. After another seven years, in the novel which 



THE SUB-EDITOR 349 

made his literary, fortune, he represents Sidonia as 
satirising to Coningsby the " imperfect vicariate of the 
House of Commons," and more than hinting that the 
only real representation of the English people since the 
destruction of so many ancient franchises by the Grey 
Reform Bill must be found not at Westminster but in 
Fleet Street. The doubt as to the journalist's power 
to create or even in great national crises profoundly 
and permanently to influence the issues of the hour is, 
it has been seen, not a thing to be taken for granted. 
In the social province the case is very different. Here 
there is no domestic reform which has not been directly, 
delayed or hastened by the newspaper -writer, no abuse 
or evil in the everyday life of his readers which his 
pen has not helped to rectify or remove, no mis- 
carriage of justice his comments on which have failed to 
awake popular echoes of demand for the scandal's ter- 
mination. The twentieth century may almost have been 
said to open with a striking proof of the journalist's 
power to right wrong in the release which crowned 
the Daily Mail agitation for the wrongly imprisoned 
Adolf Beck. 

Writing their pleasant and instructive autobiography 
some time before the Victorian Age had brought the 
journalist into prominence, Mary and William Howitt 
complained of everything in London literary work being 
done by favour and connection. William' Howitt himself 
practically testified the truth of these words by only 
being" able to turn the comer with a little sheet called 
the Constitutional when he had found a patron for his 
paper and himself in Daniel O'Connell. In 1820, seven 
years before he had made a success with PMlip. van 
Artevelde, Sir Henry Taylor, when beginning on the 
London press, found far less help in Gifford, the Quarterly 
editor for whom he had already written, than in the 
present Lord Knutsford's father. Sir Henry Holland, the 
famous physician, whose acquaintance with great peers 
and equally great commoners first opened Paternoster 
Row to his young friend. The Howitts attributed the 
difficulties of their literary start to their Quaker descent. 
Irrespectively of Church or station in life, Samliel 
Johnson, fresh from his visit to Lord Chesterfield, fore- 
saw the day when the first care of writers would not 



350 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

be to kflow peers, when Scholars, historians, and essayists 
would experience none of his own difficulties in receiving 
the moral or material support denied tp workers of 
the pen in his own day, from' patrons more generougi 
and less difficult than the titled rich. With that 
prophecy's fulfilment the journalist has associated himself 
in more ways than one. In some of his capacities he 
has superseded the patron' as the awarder and arbiter 
of literary reputation. To writers of every degree it is 
a clear gain of literary self-respect that the tribunal 
sitting in judgment upon them should no longer consist 
of well -placed individuals with a taste for pen and ink 
among the nobility or higher gentry of the land, but of 
men who have for the most part been professional writers 
themselves, who are critics not, as Lothalr's Gaston 
Phoebus said, because they failed in literature or 0,rt, 
but who have been retained for the journals to whose 
staff they belong because they have given proof of their 
competence to record responsible and trustworthy judg- 
ments on literary performances. 

During the last year of his life, Matthew Arnold, in con- 
versation with the present writer, touched on the striking 
increase, as he called it, in the output of far more than 
passable verse in the evening journals, and on the highly 
capable criticism that he never took up a daily or weekly, 
journal without noticing. For that, in the weekly organ 
so long the possession of their house, few have done 
more than successive members of the Dilke family, each 
entitled to a place among the latter-day fathers of the 
press. A word, however, of recognition should not be 
withheld also from one who, as proprietor, editor, and to 
a large extent writer of the long -departed Reader, wag 
in one sense their competitor, but in another their coli 
league. Most of the men formerly employed by Thomas 
Bendyshe, such as Francis Drummond and Joseph Knight, 
wrote regularly for the daily press as well. Bendyshe 
failed, indeed, as has been done by several others beforel 
and since his day, in making the Reader a rival to the 
Athenceutn. He had, however, a knack of dealing, after 
an original and scholarlike fashion, with literary subjects 
and personages of all periods. The best of his writers 
caught some of his freshness and inspiring intolerance 
of the commonplace. These qualities were not without 



THE SUB-EDITOR 351 

an educational value of their own, and may, indeed, 
reasonably be connected with the great improvement 
shown by the journalist as literary, critic towards the 
close of the sixties. 

The author, however, has to thank the journalist for" 
something more than sound practical advice about 
securing and keeping the goodwill of the public. That 
in these latter days he escapes so many of the miseries 
and degradations that broke the spirit of the book- 
seller's hack in the eighteenth century, and throughout 
the first half of the nineteenth, is chiefly or entirely due 
to the fact that the employment he can generally find as 
journalist prevents his being entirely at the mercy of 
the publisher, who, in this age of literary overproduction, 
finds himself, really through no fault of his own, obliged 
to sweat his writers rather than pay them'. 

li; recently remarked to me a clever and accomplished 
novelist of the Victoriam Age who still retains her earliest 
favour, things go on at this rate, we shall soon bie 
looking back upon the Grub Street period as the 
Augustan Age of authorship. If one may dismiss this 
rhetorical figure as a wise warning rather than a literal 
prediction, it is to a great extent because the author has 
long since realised the expediency of turning journalist 
also, and does not exclusively depend upon the royalties 
on sales by which work done for publishers is very 
generally remunerated. Some half a century ago, the 
late J. C. Jeaffreson, the Athenceunt critic as well as a 
novelist and miscellaneous author, finding that he had 
some time on his hands, rather thought he would amuse, 
himself and make a little pocket-money by bestowing 
it on the newspapers. His modest offer of writing as 
many leaders as were wanted for ten guineas each was 
received with less universal avidi,ty than he had expected ; 
in fact, to his keen disappointment it did not, if I: 
rightly remember, find a single taker. Incidentally, how- 
ever, it has already been seen that the leader -waiter's 
wage had long tended to fix itself at something like from 
two to three guineas a single article. No one journalist 
ever was or ever will be indispensable to his sheet., 
Jeaffreson soon recognised the fairness of the ordinary 
market terms, and^ once having obtained some very 
occasional leader work, after a time discontinued it with 



362 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

more than regret. Special rates, now that the signed 
article has so widely supplanted the anonynaous, may, 
sometimes be secured by a star writer, an acknowledged 
and perhaps unapproachable expert on his particular 
subject, and so the bearer of a name which, it can be 
almost proved mathem^atically, will make the paragraph 
subscribed by himi the sensation of the hour. Save in 
entirely exceptional circumstances like these, he has about 
as much practical chance of making " fancy " term'^ 
as of inventing a series that will make him the breaker; 
of the bank at Monte Carlo. The pace and the quality 
all round are too good, the supply of men each equallyi 
effective with his pen, and with an equal claim to be 
considered a master of his art and his subject, is too 
great, the public demand for journalistic delicacies that 
are " caviare to the general " is too slight, and experience 
shows it to be so entirely a toss-up whether the 
abnormally paid contributor of world-wide notoriety sells 
a single extra copy, that even a titled convict who has 
just done fourteen liibnths for forgery has no bette;r 
chance than the most plebeian and obscure criminal 
of realising, from the columns in which he condenses 
his experiences, enough appreciably to help him in 
getting a new start. 

About the journalist's past and present, there remains 
nothing more to be said. There are, however, bearing 
on his future one or two remarks which may be ventured 
on with reasonable confidence. Whether he be master 
or man, he will continue, in the personal training for 
his life's work, and in its close association with the 
movements of his time, to represent not so much a 
single order or a limited number of interests as all the. 
tendencies, issues, concerns and problem's of his time. 
His energy may discover new forms of enterprise, and 
divert itself into fresh channels ; but the point has now, 
been reached when experience seems likely to place its 
veto upon the repetition of undertakings already proved 
to be impracticable. The late autumn of 1910 witnessed 
the issue of a new halfpenny, evening paper. That js 
a comparatively small affair. The scale on which' 
an effective and permanent addition can alone be 
made to the morning dailies of the established type 
is too vast and costly to invite many competitors. 



THE SUB-EDITOR 353 

That was practically settled by the attempt in 1906 
iwith the Tribune, which had every kind of high 
desert, and ended only because the public that cota- 
mended and might have bought it was sufficiently 
supplied already. Scarcely less desperate seems the 
effort to invent any journalistic devices or methods 
of literary presentation so unknown to existing ingenuity, 
so essentially unanticipated in substance or shape, as not 
to come under one or other of the heads into which 
existing newspaper contents divide themselves in the 
posters of to-day. No stratum of the world's actual or 
potential reading public is now untapped. From the 
philosopher to the felon, from the Primate's palace to 
the casual ward, there is nothing said, done, or thought 
which escapes the jourijalist's daily record. There is 
no idiosyncrasy on any human level, famous or infamous, 
which, if it will catch a single eye, is not trotted out 
by, the journalist in charge, to outdo earlier feats of the 
newspaper manege in the performing columns. 

The high finance, the unostentatiously accumulated 
millions handed down from generation to generation in 
Lancashire mills, cotton stores, or family banking houses, 
pvery order of the aristocracy of cash as well as of 
land — not one of these national forces is unrepresented 
in: the proprietary of the great newspapers. To-day, 
therefore, the journalistic interest, using the word in a 
commercial sense, has diffused itself as widely through 
the body politic as the railway interest or the brewing 
interest. While newspaper boards are thus becoming as 
familiar as any in the Directory of Directors, the 
journalist himself, in Wfto^s Who or other reference 
books of the period, appears increasingly tmder other than 
a literary heading. Society knows him' as a man about 
town, as an ornament of the liberal professions, or as 
one who stands high in the fighting services. Fifty, 
years ago he would have employed his literary leisure by 
writing an occasional article for the Quarterly Review. 
To-day at shorter intervals he finds a chance of wielding 
a more direct influence in a shorlter space by taking 
up the specialist's pen for the Tirries, the Post, the 
Chronicle, or the Daily Mail. In politics the journalist, 
whether writing under his own name or anonymously, 
may not move large bodies of men, and may exercise 

23 



354 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

little weight upon' general elections. On the other hand, 
his appeals to party leaders on his own side were never 
more eagerly, listened to than now, and his arguments, 
especially if of personal application, never permeated 
more widely the rank and file to which they are addressed. 
In an increasing degree, therefore, the journalist 
prefers the column he controls to the parliamentary 
seat ; because that would be more likely to mean self-; 
effacement than fame. Consequently, on the civil or 
military side, in Church or State, the professional 
journalist has now to hold his own against a growing 
host of amateur competitors of the most highly, equipped 
and determined kind. 

Thomas Arnold of Rugby and the most famous pi 

his pattern pupils, Arthur Stanley, of Westminster, may 

have resembled Sir William Vernon Harcourt in never 

having taken the Times shilling. Both the Churchman 

and the lawyer derived from' their newspaper work 

advantages greater than those of money. Such as in 

the twentieth century, profit by their example not only 

receive payment, but stipulate for terms. There may be 

a show of deprecating publicity. But Parliament mien 

on their probation, and divines not yet installed in a 

pulpit of their own, are amongst the most persistent 

advertisers for newspaper employment in the way of 

gossip paragraphs and descriptive sketches. The novelty 

is, however, less the presence of these outside competitors 

than their keenness in driving money, bargains. Not, 

indeed, that the extra-professional pen, ecclesiastical or 

secular, was, as often as it has been the fashion to 

suppose, unpaid for the column over which it disported 

itself. J. Wi. Burgon pocketed a fee for his Standard 

contributions during the sixties, as wtell as for his 

Quarterly articles, and found both kinds of composition 

useful steps towards the Chichester deanery, which he 

reached in 1876. Dean Wace of Canterbury and Dr. 

Cumming of Crown Court also in the sixties occupied 

pulpits belonging to their respective communions, and 

were thought the better of by their congregations because 

at the same time they were providing Printing House 

Square with almost a daily leader. i 

The journalist, too, has been one with the soldier 
even ifiore than with the ecclesiastic. What one at least 



THE SUB-EDITOR 355 

of the services, from' the official point of vie!w, thought 
about the officer who, while actively caiiipaigning, used 
his pen too much has been shown by the passage between 
the Iron Duke and Colonel Stewart cited some little 
way back. The Duke of iWellington's short way with 
the newspaper -writing officer may have found admirers, 
but never many practical imitators. It was none of 
Grote's favourites, but one heartily disgusted with the 
Athenian democracy, the reactionary Tory Xenophon, 
who, after his service in the army of the Persian king, 
had retired from public life, civil or military, beforel 
instituting the alliance, since so fruitful, of the writer 
with the fighter. This union finds its earliest j-epre- 
sentatives in Sir William Napier and Sir Archibald 
Alison. Each found the periodical press an equally 
convenient outlet. Throughout the Victorian Age (the 
relations between the journalist and the general were on: 
the whole those of mutual goodwill and reciprocal assist- 
ance. During the Crimean episode, Wi. H. Russell and 
one or two more of the war correspondents, at thtei 
same time that they perfornjed a national service in 
■drawing attention to, and so mitigating, the sufferings: 
of our soldiers^ had been! charged with letting the 
Russians into the secret of the Allies' plans, and so of 
making themselves responsible for more than one 
strategical miscarriage. For a repetition of that charge 
no pretext was subsequently given in all the wars after 
the Indian Mutiny. The writer and the fighter main- 
tained a perfect tmderstanding with each other. In 1871 
the abolition of Purchase was followed by the bitterly 
controverted Bill for the Regulation of the Forces. The 
Burmese War, the operations before Sebastopol, the 
Indian Mutiny, the Chinese War and, more recently, 
the Red River Expedition, had given Lord Wolseley 
that opportunity of showing his genius as a commander 
•which occasion had denied to Sir George Hamley, to 
Adye, to Lintom Simmons, to Lynedoch and to Hill. 
He now identified himself with the latest military reforms 
of that Liberal party traditionally, distrusted of the 
soldier. Without avowing himself Gladstonian, he dared 
to say that the Liberals themselves had not luimade the 
Army as an instrument of war. The chief officers who 
ixad served tmder or with him could handle the pen not 



356 MASTERS OF JOURNALISM 

less effectively than the sword . The old prejudice against 
the literary officer wore itself out. The war corre- 
spondent under sympathetic control was tolerated at 
headquarters in the campaign. The new entente between 
sword and pen worked in the interests of all concerned. 
The Commander-in-Chief and the press chronicler began 
to supplement each other. In peace-time correspondents 
like Archibald Forbes read papers on strategy at the 
United Services Institution before experts from the Staff 
College. Whether civilian or soldier, the military 
journalist at least maintains in the new Georgian era 
his position of Victorian days. Mr. Spenser Wilkinson, 
before filling the chair of Military History at Oxford, 
had made his mark as military critic of the Morning 
Post. Another of the Xenophons of thelsis, OMDr. Amery, 
wrote the Times History of the Boer War. Nor must 
one forget that the widening of the Oxford curriculum 
so as to include at least the rudim'ents of the art of 
war has been largely brought about by the military 
journalist. Beginning with the present Sir Henry 
Brackenbury, his late brother Charles and the two 
Hoziers, John and Henry, each of whom, but especially, 
the former, was a real soldier of universities as well as 
an: officer of the land forces of the sovereign, the move- 
5iefit now mentioned was effectively promoted, amongst 
others, by an old Balliol man and light cavalry officer. 
General F . S . Russell, as well as Lord Roberts, an Etonian 
who knew Oxford well . Thus has there come into existence 
on: the Isis the deleg'acy for military instruction which, 
in concert with the War Office, selects Army, candidates 
who, having proved their qualifications by, papers on 
military subjects set in the Final Pass Schools, receive 
twice a year artillery, cavalry, or infantry, commissions. 
Sir Henry Brackenbury will be remembered not only as 
uniting the highest literary accomplishments with the 
military critic's professional knowledge, but as, if not 
the founder, a conspicuous member of the gifted group 
that, now nearly, half a century ago, illustrated the then 
incipient union of sword and pen. This company, has 
included Sir Henry Brackenbury's two old pupils, Sir 
Edward Law and Sir John Ardagh ; it has been pre- 
sided over by, his two chiefs, both first-rate writers. 
Lord Roberts and Lord Wolseley, and has had among 



THE SUB-EDITOR 357 

its ornaments General Sir F. Maurice, Sir Coleridge 
Grove, Sir Ian Hamilton and Sir Evelyn Wood. 

In some of these cases the fame of a book -writer may; 
eclipse that of the journalist. But in none had the; 
author won his laurels except after searching experience 
of the journalistic mill. To-day, therefore, the two 
interests concerned in the newspaper industry — labour and 
capital, master and man — resemble each other in reflect- 
ing all the forces, moral, mental, material, chiefly con- 
spicuous in the nation's life. The growth of a private 
adventure into a public institution, attracting and incor- 
porating into itself the most various resources of 
successive periods, summarises in a few words the 
journalist's earliest rise and latest progress. In prose 
fiction as well as poetry, the twentieth century has already 
witnessed an innovation upon established modes of ex- 
pression. That has been exemplified by Mr. Thomas 
Hardy in his fine poem The Dynasts: a Drama of the 
Napoleonic Wars. His most thoughtful critic, Mr. Henry 
Newbolt, pointed out some time since ' that the very] 
novelty of Mr. Hardy's cadences prevented them' from 
at once satisfying the surprised ear. So, too, may it be 
with much that seems most novel in the diction and 
methods alike of the journalist who to-day represents 
most faithfully and forcibly the taste and spirit of his 
epoch. The change, however, as has been shown in 
the foregoing pages, is one not of revolution but of 
development. Between the spirit ip which, whether 
capitalist or writer, he first addressed himself to his 
work, and that in which he accomplishes it to-day, the 
continuity, moral apd intellectual, has been on the whole 
without solution:. .j 

' " A New Departure in English Poetry," Quarterly Review, No. 418. 



INDEX 



Aldenham, Lobd, 254 

Alison, Sir Archibald, 355 

Allabahad Pioneer, 302 

Allen, Ralph, 60 

Almack's, 73 

Almon, John, 104-5 

Althorp, Lord, 132 

"Amateur Casual," The, 245-6 

American Journals, 342-4 

American Newspaper, The, 342 

American Politics, 11 7-8 

American Revolution, 347 

Amhurst, Nicholas, 86-7, 95 

Amery, Mr., 356 

" Anglicanus," 180 

Anglo - Newfoundland Development 
Company, 276 

Annual Register, 306 

Anstey, Chisholm, 296 

Answers, 272 

Anti-Jacobin, 217-9 

Applebee, 85-6 

Ardagh, Sir John, 356 

Ardilaun, Lord, 318 

Argyll, Duke of, 232' 

Armstrong, Sir G. (Captain), 243 

Arnold, Sir A., 267-8 

Arnold, Edwin, 199, 210-1 

Arnold, Matthew, 196, 234, 246, 350 

Arnold, Thomas, 268, 354 

Arnott, Sir John, 318 

Arundel Club, 219 

Ashburton, Lord, 108 

Ashley, Evelyn, 262 

Asquith, H. H., 281 

Astor,J.J., 259. 

Astor, W. W., 258 

Astoria, 259 

Atkenaum, The, 267, 350-1 

Atlas, 236 

" Atticus," see Sir P. Francis 

Austin, Alfred, 198-9 



:358 



Austin, Charles, 209, 245 

Austin, W. S., 245 

" Azamat Batuk," see Thieblin 

Bab Ballads, 271 

Bacon, Sir James, 292 

Badenoch, Rev. J. R., 204 

Baldwin, Charles, 193, 196 

Baldwin, Edward, 192-3, 196 

Balfour, Arthur, 321, 337 

Balfour of Burleigh, Lord, 204 

Ball, "Censorius," 279 

Barber, Francis, iio-ii 

Barnes, Thomas, 148, i66, 172-4, 180, 

198. 326, 330 
Barrere, H.E. Camille, 252-3 
Barry, Wm., 235 
Batson's, 75 
Battle of the Books, 90 
Baviad and Moeviad, 219 
Beaconsfield, Lord, see Disraeli 
Beck, Adolf, 349 
Becker, B. H., 265 
a Beckett, Albert, 139 
a Beckett, Arthur, 139, 262, 264 
a Beckett, Gilbert, 324 
Bedford, The, 74 
Beer, Julius, 297 
Beevor, Sir Thos., 133 
Behn, Mrs. Aphra, 119 
Belfast News Letter, 319 
Bell, John, 163 
Bell, Moberly, 342 
Bellamy (of Chandos Street), 154 
Bendyshe, Thos., 350 
Bennett, J. G., 342 
Bennett, Rowe, 301 
Bentham, Jeremy, 159, 235-6 
Berwick Advertiser, 287 
Besant, SirW., 35 
Bianconi, 317 
Bible in Spain, 325 



INDEX 



359 



Bickerstaff, Isaac, 73 

Birkenhead, John, 36-8, 41-3, 307 

Birmingham University, 345 

Bismarck, Prince, quoted, 338 

Blachford, Lord, 20, 184 

Black, John, 158-62 

Black, Wm., 235, 267, 327 

Blackburn, Henry, 282 

Blackwood, 148, 153 

Blanchard, Laman, 237-8 

Bleak House, 149-51 

Bloody Bttoy, The, iig-20 

Blowitz, 184 

Blyth, Burton, 198, 201 

Bodkin, M. McDonnell, 315, 319 

Bogue, David, 225 

BoUngbroke, 87-9 

Bond, 308 

Bone to Gnaw for the Democrats, A, 

117 
Booksellers' quarters, 35-6 
Borrow, George, 252, 325 
Borthwick, Algernon, see Lord Glenesk 
Borthwick, Peter, 186 
Boston Newsletter, 307 
Bowes, Hely, 202 
Bowles, T. G., 263-4 
Boyd, H. M., 108 
Boyle, R. W., 280, 341 
Brackenbury, Chas., 356 
Brackenbury, Sir Henry, 200, 356-7 
Bradbury and Evans, 212 
Bradford (Publisher), 118-9 
Brandreth, 124 
Brayden, W. H., 316 
Bright, John, 138, 235, 270 
Brighton Herald, 299 
British Birds, 299 
British Diplomacy, 248 
Briton, The, 98-9 
Broken to Harness, 228, 26 1 
Brooke, Henry, 312-3 
Brooks's Club, 73 

Brooks, W. Shirley, 220, 261, 323-4 
Brough, Robert, 225-7, 253 
Brougham, Henry, 146, 148, 173-4. 

328-30 
Broughton, Rhoda, 325 
Buckingham, Leicester, 219, 236 
Buckingham, Duke of (2nd), 263-4 
Buckle, Mr., 324, 327 
Buckley, Samuel, 49 
Burdett, Sir Francis, 127-8, 130 
Burdett-Coutts, Baroness, 346 
Burges, Bland, 169 
Burgon, J. W., 354 
Burke, Edmund, 106, 108, ill, 116, 

163, 306, 348 
Burleigh, Bennett, 250 
Burley, John, 87 



Bumham, Lord, 206, 21 1, 327 

Butler, Dr., 108 

Butter, Nathaniel, 34-6 

Button's, 74 

Byron, Lord, 148, 152, 159 

CjEsar, Julius, 28 

Campaign, The, 72 

Campbell, John, 155 

Campbell, Lady Colin, 235 

Campbell, Robert, 247 

Campbell, Thomas, 156 

Canning, Stratford, 218 

Cardwell, Lord, 230-1 

Carlyle's Cobbett quoted, 127-8, 133 

Carpenter, William, 279 

Carson, Sir Edward, 318 

Cassell, John, 267 

Caste, 246 

Castlereagh, Lord, 131-2, 331 

Catholic emancipation, 314 

Catling, Thomas, 8, 279-80 

" Causidicus," see Robert Johnson 

Cecil, Lord Robert, see Salisbury 

Censor, The, 120 

" Censorius," see Ball 

Censorship created, 39 

Chamberlain, Joseph, 253, 275, 321 

Chambers, 308 

Champion, The, 83, 172 

Chandos, Duke of, 141 

Chartism, 308 

Chatham, Lord, 313 

Chenery, Thomas, 182-4, 3^7 

Chesterfield, Lord, 80, 113 

Chirol, Valentine, 334 

Cicero, 29 

Circle, The, 304 

City Mercury, 47 

City of London School, 345 

Clancy, Mr., 320 

Clay, F., 263 

Clayden, P. W., 211 

Clerkenwell News, 280 

Clifton, The, 75 

Clubs, forming of, 73-4 

Cobbe, F. P., 267 

Cobbett, Wm., 113-38 

Cobden, Richard, 235 

Cock, The, 75 

Cockbum, Lord Chief Justice, 310 

Coleridge, S. T., 166-8 

Collins, Churton, 86 

Collins, Mortimer, 243, 298-9 

Colman, J. J., 269 

Combe, Wm., 171, 177 

Comberback, see Coleridge 

Conduct of the Allies, &c., 95 

Constitutional, The, 238, 349 

Con-Test, 99 



360 



INDEX 



Conyngham, Lord, 329 

Cook, Dutton, 246 

Cook, E. T., 257 

Cook, J. D., 231-4, 239, 243 

Cookesley, Wm., 218 

Cookesley, W. G., 219 

Cooper, C. A., 290-1 

Cooper Alley Gazette, 314 

Cork Examiner, 315 

Cork Free Press, 315 

Cornhill Magazine, 243-4, 264 

Corporal Punishment in the Army, 146 

Cottage Economy, 132 

Coulton, D. T., 206 

Courier, The, 164, 258 

Courier, P. L., 321 

Court Circular, 262 

Courtney, W. L., 204, 210, 265 

Coventry, Sir John, 45 

Cowen, Joseph, 296-8, 303 

Cowper, Wm., 75 

Craftsman, The, 83-7, 311 

O escent and the Cross, 252 

Cribb, Thomas, 198 

Croal, J. P., 291-2 

Crompton, 187 

Crowe, Eyre, 213 

Cruikshank, George, 292 

Gumming, Dr., 354 

Cunningham, Colonel F., 205 

Curtis, G. B., 203, 267 

Cust, H. C, 254, 303 

Daily Chronicle, 250, 281, 341 

Daily Courant, 48-9 

Daily Express, 319 

Daily Gazetteer, 83 

Daily Graphic, 2,2,^, 282 

Daily Mail, 21, 275, 340 

Daily Mirror, 274 

Daily News, 212-5, 220-1, 250, 294, 

333 
Daily Telegraph, 8, 140, 198-9, 206-11, 

230, 250, 273, 277, 297, 304, 335, 

340-1 
Daily Universal Register, 169 
Dallas, George, 208 
Dalling, Lord, 136 
Danvers, Caleb, see Amhurst 
Davis, Thomas, 309 
Davison, John, 208 
Dawkins, Sir Clinton, 203 
Dawks, Ichabod, 73 
Day, The, \Ti, 204-5 
Decle, Lionel, 210 
Defoe, Daniel, 49-51, 53-78, 85-6, 

255. 284 
Delane, Cavin, 179 
Delane, J. T., 20, 176, 179-84, 198, 

326-35 



Delane, W. F., 179 

Denison, G. A., 189 

Dering, Sir Edward, 36 

Devlin, Joseph, 319, 321 

Devonshire, Duke of, 212 

Dicey, Edward, 210-ir, 297, 327 

Dick's, 75 

Dickens, Charles, 89, 149, 161, 209, 

211-3, 256, 299 
Dilke, Sir Charles, 281, 338 
Dilke, C. W., 213-4, 267 
Dillon, John, 320-1 
de Dino, Duchess, 327-9 
Diplomatic Review, 296 
Disraeli, B., 19, 84, 180, 195, 206, 

248, 260, 330, 348-9 
Disraeli, Cetter to, 299 
Dodsley, Robert, 168 
Donald, Robert, 280-1 
Donovan, Robert, 320 
Doyle, Andrew, 211 
Draper, Edward, 225 
Drapier Letters, 94 
Drelincourt on Death, 69 
Dr. Syntax, 177 
Drummond, Maurice, 245 
Drury, Giles, 41 
Dublin Intelligencer, ■yi'j 
Dublin Newsletter, 307 
Dudley, Sir Edward Bate, 189, 191-2 
Dudley, Giles, 41 
Duffy, Gavan, 311 
Dulcamara, Dr., 271 
Dunciad c^a\£&, 92 
Dundee Advertiser, 302 
Dunn, J. N., 302 
Dunning, John, 108 
Dunton, John, 52 
Dyer, 73 

Dyer, Samuel, 109 
Dynasts, The, 357 

Earle, Ralph, 265 

Eastern Morning News, 300 

Echo, 21, 267-8, 272 

Edinburgh Courant, 66, 284-6 

Edinburgh Review, 153, 217—8 

Edwards, H. S., 225, 229, 282 

Edwards, Passmore, 272 

Eliot, George, 325 

Eliot, John, 42, 321 

EUenborough, Lord, 146-7 

EUice, " Bear," 129 

Elton, C. J., 235 

English Grammar, Cobbett's, 125-7, 

130 
Englishman, 210 
Entick, 98 
Eothen, 222, 252 
Erskine, 156 



INDEX 



361 



Esdall, James, 316 

Espinasse, Francis, 286 

-Essay on Projects, S9-62 

Essay without an End, 244 

Etherege, Sir George, 81 

Eugenie, Empress, 289-go 

Eustace Conyers, 228 

Evans, D. M., 197, 201, 204 

Evans, Marian, 221 

Evening Herald, 317 

Evening Mail, 318 

Evening News, 272-3, 278 

Evening Standard, 193, 195-7, 255 

Evening Telegraph, 320 

Evening Times, 352 

Examiner, The, 83-4, 91-4 

Examiner, 7%« (Hunt's), 140-9, 172-3, 

21S, 236, 238 
Exchange and Mart, 47 
Express (Ireland), 318 

Pagg, Sir John, 64 

" Fane, Violet," 235 

Fathers, The, 96 

Faulkener, George, 311 

Feast of the Poets, 150 

Federalist, The, 306 

FeUowes, Dr., 236 

Fenn, 31-2 

Fenn, Geo. M., 267 

Feuilleton, the, 68 

Fielding, Henry, 83, 95-7 

Finlay, Frank, 319 

Finnerby, 308 

Eitzgerald, Lord Edward, 1 15, 308 

Fitzmaurice, L«rd, 348 

Fldneur, The, 262 

Elood, H., 109, 313-4 

Fonblanque, Albany, 236-8 

Fonblanque, E. B., 139 

Fonblanque, J. M., 236-7 

Foote, Samuel, 232 

Forbes, Archibald, 249, 294, 356 

Forbes, J., 215 

Foreign News, obtaining of, 169-71, 

192, 247 
Foreigners, The, 52 
Forster, John, 77, 212-13, 237-8 
Fortnightly Review, 297 
Fox, Charles, 154 
Fox, W. J., 212 
Francillon, R. E., 243 
Francis, Lady, 108 
Francis, J. C, 9, 212, 267, 281 
Francis, Rev. Philip, 99, lol, 109 
Francis, Sir P., 99, 105-11, 139 
Franco-Prussian War, incident, 294 
Franklin, Benjamin, 307 
Eraser, "Catalogue," 47 
JFraser, Peter, 171, 178^ 



Freeholder, 71, 76-7 

Free Lance, 235 

Ft eeman's journal, 312-16, 319-21 

Free Trade, 181, 212, 233 

French Revolution, Reflections on, 1 16 

Friends of Bohemia, 222 

Froude, J. A., 252, 305, 325 

Fun, 270-1 

GALiGNAm' s Messenger, 221 

Gallenga, A., 199, 250, 327 

Galpin, T. D., 267 

Gamekeeper at Home, The, 137 

Garvin, J. L., 281, 297, 303, 327 

Gaulois, 321 

Gazette de France, 306 

Gazetteer, 153-4 

Geake, C. E., 257 

Gentleman's Magazine, lOI, 104 

George's, 74 

George IV., 146-7 

Gibbs, Hucks, 254 

Gibson, Edward, 268 

Gibson, Milner, 9, 220, 322 

Giffard, S. L., 193 

Gifford, Wm., 216, 218-9 

Gilbert, Sir W. S., 263, 271 

Gill, T. P., 319 

Girardin, E. de, 321 

Girl of the Period, The, 229 

Gladstone, W. E., 136, 266 

Glasgow Daily Mail, 291 

Glenesk, Lord, 187-8, 262-3, 3^7 

Globe (London), 243 

Globe (Paris), 338 

Godwin, 217 

Goodman, E. J., 8, 299, 304, 334 

Gorst, Sir John, 201-2 

Goschen, Mr., 291 

Gould, Sir F. C, 257 

Governing Classes of Great Britain, 222 

Grant, Baron Albert, 204 

Grant-Duff, Sir M. S., 338 

Granville, Mortimer, 243 

Grattan, Henry, 313-4 

Gray, Mr., 154-5 

Gray, Paul, 271 

Grecian, The, 74 

Greek influence, 23-8 

Greek Literaiure, History of, 286 

Greenwood, Frederick, 9, 48, 92, 

221-9, 243-5, 253, 327, 339 
Greenwood, James, 245 
Greg, Percy, 199 
Grote, George, 180 
Grove, Sir C, 357 
Grove, George, 225 
" Guatimozin," see Dr. F. Jebb 
Guinness, Sir B. L., 318 
Gulliver, Lemuel, 75 



362 



INDEX 



Halfpenny Press, 274 

Halifax, Lord, 70-1, 83-4 

Hall, Okey, 343 

Halsbury, Lord, 193 

Hamber, Thomas, 196-8, 199-201, 

204-s, 219 
Hamilton, Sir Ian, 357 
Hamilton, W. G., 109 
Hannay, James, 66, 225, 227-8, 253, 

262, 285-6 
Plarcourt, SirWm., 232, 281, 320, 344, 

3S4 
Hardman, Sir Wm., 190 
Hardy, Thomas, 357 
Harley, 67 
Harmsworth, Alfred, see Baron North- 

cliffe 
Harmsworth, Cecil, 271-7 
Harrington, Mr., 317 
Harris, Benjamin, 307 
Harris, Prank, 234 
Harte, Bret, 271 
Harwood, Philip, 234 
Haversham, Lady, 233 
Haweis, H. R., 267 
Haydon, B. R., 148 
Hayward, Abraham, 327 
Hazlitt, Wm., 144, 14S-9, 152, 160 
Healy, Father, 318 
Healy, T. M.,9 
Heine on Cobbett, 134 
Henby, G. A., 200, 250 
Herald, New York, 343 
Herbert, Rev. G., 68 
Herbert, Sidney, 266 
Herlihy, Mr., 315-6 
Hertford, Mr., 325 
Higginbottom, F. J., 260 
Higgins, Matthew, 20 
Hill, F. H., 212 
Hill, Sir John, 92 
Historical Characters quoted, 113 
Historical Register, 96 
History of Europe, 225 
Hitchman, J. F., 300-1 
Hodge, Harold, 234, 239 
Hodgson, Earl, 258 
Hoey, Mrs. Cashel, 261 
Holcroft, Thomas, 97-8 
Holland, Sir Henry, 349 
HoUings, H. de B., 204 
Home Chat, 272 
Hong Kong Daily Press, 302 
Hood, Thomas (Jr.), 139, 270-1, 325 
Hook, Theodore, 194, 327 
Hooper, George, 210, 239 
Hope, Beresford, 209, 231-2 
Houghton, Lord, 152 
Houldsworths, the, 219 
Hour, The, 201, 204-5, 34' 



Household Words, 209, 235, 261, 26J 

Howitt, Mary and Wm., 349 

Hozier, John and Henry, 356 

Hume, Joseph, 236 

Hunt, Hen^, 128 

Hunt, Isaac, 139-41 

Hunt, John, 146-52 

Hunt, Knight, 292 

Hunt, Leigh, 139-53, 166, 172, 236 

Hunt, Thornton, 140, 209 

Hunt, William, 300 

Hurd, Bishop, 104 

Hurlbert, W. H., 342 

Hutton, James, 204 

Hutton, R. H., 239 

Idler, The, 102-5 
Illustrated daily, the, 281-2 
Illustrated London News, ^tSi, 282 
Illustrated Times, 225, 229, 247, 260-I,. 

265 
Imperial Press Conference, 22 
Inchiquin, Lord, 309 
Indicator, 149 

Indulgence, Declaration of, 54-5 
Influence of Press in seventeenth 

century, 70-1 
Ingles, Sir R. H., 93 
Ingram, Herbert, 228 
Insolvency Law Reform, 59-60 
Institute of Journalists, 345-6 
Invasion of the Crimea, 222 
Inverness Courier, 287 
Irish Catholic, 317 
Irish Independent, 317 
Irish News, 319 
Irish Times, 318 
Irving, Washington, 259 
Isocrates, 26-7 

Jackson, 191, 308 

Jackson, Sir Wm., 212 

Jeaffreson, J. C, 351 

Jebb, Dr. F., 313 

Jebb, Sir R. C., 22, 343 

Jefferies, Richard, 137 

Jeffrey, Francis, 216 

Jenman, 196 

Jerrold, Douglas, 237, 261, 279-80 

Jerrold, Willmm, 280 
ersey. Lady, 182, 330-1 
John Bull, 194 
Johnson, Judge, 121 
Johnson, Robert, 313 
Johnson, Samuel, 75, 100-5, H2-3. 

349-5° 
"iohnsaa's Dictionary, loi, 112-3 
Johnston, Sir H., 210 
Johnstone, James, 196-7, 201 
Johnstone, John, 287 



INDEX 



36S 



Johnstone, Wintle, Cooper and Evans, 

196 
Jonson, Ben, quoted, 31, 34 
Jowett, B., 204, 252, 326, 333 
"Junius," see Sir P. Francis 
Junius Letters, 108-9 
Junius Identified, 108 
Jupiter Junior, 209 

Kebbel, T. E., 8, 66, 84, 266, 297 

KeUy (oi Daily Telegraph), 278 

Kemble, John, 145 

Kenealy, E. V., 310 

Kennard, Coleridge, 272 

Kentish Petition, 284 

Kettle, T. M., 315-6 

JCibai's Ordinary, 75 

Kick for a Bite, A, iij 

King, Dr. Wm., 84 

Kinglake, A. W., 222, 252, 327, 347 

King's College, 345 

Kingston, Beatty, 325 

Kirkpatrick, Wm., 290 

Knight, Joseph, 350 

KnoUys, Major W. W., 200 

Knowles, Admiral, 87-8 

Labouchbre, Henry, 214, 263, 265 

Ladies at Law, 244 

Ladies in Parliament, 348 

Lady Byron vindicated, 199 

Lamartine, Alphonse, 310 

Lamb, Charles, 140-1, 148, 164-6 

Lamb, Mary, 148 

Lancet, 286 

Landor, W. S., 220-1 

Lang, Andrew, 118, 215 

Langrishe, Sir H., 313 

Lansdowne, Lord, 328-9 

Latimer, Isaac, 299 

Laud, Archibald, 36 

Law, Sir Edward, 356 

Lawless, 308 

Lawson, Edward, 211 

Lawson, H. L. W., 206, 211 

Leader, 201 

Lecky quoted, 308 

Lee, Major-General Chas., 109 

Leeds Mercury, 298 

Legion Memorial, 284 

Lehane, Mr., 317 

Lemon, Mark, 323 

Leo, Arminius and Adolescens, 246 

Le Sage, J. M., 2lo 

L'Estrange, Roger, 36, 43-6, 307 

Letter to Cook, A, 198-9 

LeUer to Sir Wm. Wyndham, 88 

Letters from Corsica, 325 

letters from Ireland, 238 

Lever, Charles, 220-1, 305, 318 



Levy, E. L., see Lord Burnham 

Levy, J. M., 208, 211, 230 

Lewes, G. H., 221 

Liberal, The, 152 

Lieven, Princess, 377 

Life of Goethe, 221 

Lincoln, Lord, 232 

Linehan, Mr., 320 

Linton, Mrs. Lynn, 229, 232 

Litchfield, Leonard, 46 

Literature and Journalism, 251-3 

Little Book about Great Britain, A„ 

253 
Liverpool Albion, 292 
Liverpool Daily Post, 293 
Liverpool Journal, 292 
Liverpool Lion, 226 
Liverpool Mercury, 293 
Lives of the Poets, 103 
Lloyd, Charles, 109 
Lloyd, Edward, 279-80 
Lloyds Weekly Newspaper, 237, 279 
Locker, Frederick, 271 
Lockhart, J. G., 193-5 
London Gazette, 47, 49, 214 
London Institute of Journalism, 22 
London Journal, 152 
London Review, 235 
London Society, 299 
London Telegraph, 261 
Londonderry, Lord, 331, 355 
Lothair, 350 

Lounger at the Clubs, 261 
Low, S. J., 8, 255 
Lowe, Robert, 223 
Lowell, J. R., 150 
Loyd, Jones, see Overstone 
Lucas, Samuel, 206, 208, 219, 235 
Lucas, Dr., 313 
Lucy, Sir H., 215 
Luttrell, 156 
Lytton, Bulwer, 236 

Macaulay, T. B., -77, 100, 175, 289 
McCarthy, Justin, 8, 212, 214, 219, 236^ 

293. 315 
McCarthy, J. H., 315 
M'Culloch, J. R., 288 
MacDonald, Colonel, 204 
Macdonell, James, 210, 321 
Macdonell, Sir John, 267 
MacDougall, Mr., 204 
MacGahan, 250 
Mackay, Charles, 161-2, 235 
Mackintosh, Sir James, 155, 162-3 
Maclaren, Charles, 287-8 
McPeake, Mr., 318 
McSweeney, George, 320 
McSweeney, J. G., 319-20 
Madden's Irish Period. Lit., 312 



364 



INDEX 



Madison, 306 

Maginn, W. C, 193-5 

Mahony, Frank, 187, 315 

Maine, Sir H. S., 232, 244 

Maitland, John, 293 

Mallet, Edward, 48-50 

Mallock, W, H., 235 

Malmesbury, Lord, 189 

Man of Mode, The, 81 

Manchester Courier, 295-6 

Manchester Examiner, 295 

Manchester Guardian, 294-5, 341-2 

Manders, Mr., 318 

Mansel, H. L., 197 

Margaret Denzil, 244 

Marlborough, Duke of, 92, 95 

Marten, Harry, 40 

Martineau, Henry, 214 

Massinghara, H. W., 281 

Maston Lynch, 226 

Maurice, F. D., 239 

Maurice, General Sir F., 357 

Maxwell, John, 197 

Mayhew, A., 225 

Mazarine, The, 306 

Melbourne Argus, 199, 302 

Melbourne, Lord, 134, 329 

Melville, Lord, 169-70 

Mercurius Aulicus and Mercurius 

Britannicus, 37 
Mercury, 47 
Middlesex Journal, iii 
Mill, James, 159 
Mill, J. S., 100, 159 
Millais, J. E., 243 
Millward, Clement, 293 
Milner, Lord, 257 
Mirror of Parliament, 132 
Mitchel, John, 310-11 
Mitford, Miss, 156 
Mitre, The, 75 
Molesworth, Lady, 326 
Mommsen quoted, 29 
Monitor, The, 98 
Monmouth's Rebellion, 56-7 
Montagu, Andrew, 188 
Monthly Magazine, 217 
Monthly Review, 117 
Monthly Sermons, Cobbett's, 131 
Moore, Edward, 80 
Moore, Peter, 129 
Morecraft, Thomas, 79 
Morley, Lord, quoted, 212, 219, 232, 

254, 302, 320 
Morley, Samuel, 214 
Morning Chronicle, 85, 146, 153-62, 

192-3,211,230-2, 324, 331 
Morning Herald, 191-2, 196-7, 206, 

210 
Morning Leader, 21, 266-70 



Morning Post, 163-5, '86, 188-92,200, 

326, 333. 356 
Morning Star, 293 
Morris, Mowbray, 292 
Morten, T., 271 
Morton, Charles, 53-4 
Mozley, Thomas, 20, 46, 232 
Muddiman, Henry, 41 
Mudford, W. H., 92, 202-3, 323) 32? 
Muldoon, Mr., 320 
MuUer, Iwan, 303 
Mure, James, 66, 286 
Mure, William, 286 
Murphy, Arthur, 99 
Murphy, William, 317 
Murray, Grenville, 222, 253, 263-5 
Murray, John, 194-5 
Murray, John (2nd), 217-8 
My Novel, 87 

Naboth's Vineyard, 132 

Nadal, E. S., 343 

Nsevius, 29 

Naggletons, The, 324 

Napier, Macvey, 153 

Napier, Sir Wm., 355 

Nation, The (London), 281 

Nation, The (Ireland), 308-11, 320 

Nation, The (New York), 343 

National Association of Journalists, 346 

National Observer, 303 

Nedham, Marchmont, 36-41, 307 

Newcastle Chronicle, 296-7 

Newcombe, Thomas, 46 

New Freeman's /Journal, 313 

"Newsletter writers," the, 33-5 

New Republic, 264 

New Times, 172 

New York Herald, 210, 342, 343 

New York Nation, 343 

New York World, 342 

Newdigate, Charles, 243 

Newfoundland paper industry, 275-6 

Newman, J. H., 252 

Newnes, Sir George, 255-8, 271-2 

News, The, 140 

Nonconformists, persecution of, 55-7 

Norfolk, Duke of, 154 

North Briton, The, 99, iii 

Northcliffe, Baron, 266, 271-7, 303 

Northern Echo, 302 

Northern Whig, 319, 321 

No^rton, J. B., 205 

Notes by the Way, 9 

O'Brien, Smith, 309 
O'Brien, William, 315 
Observator, 47, 51, 91 
Observer, 274, 297, 303 
Occasional Writer, 86 



INDEX 



365 



O'Cormell, Daniel, 349 

O'Connor, Arthur, 308 

O'Connor, Feargus, 308-9 

O'Connor, T. P., 269-71 

O'Dell, Jonathan, 335 

O'Donnell, F. H., 190 

Old Whig, 77 

Oliphant, Lawrence, 182, 235, 244, 

252, 263, 327 
Oppenheim, Henry, 214, 248 
Oracle, TTie, 163 
Osborne, Lord S. G., 251 
Oswestry Advertiser, 324 
Overstone, Lord, 180 
Owl, The, 262-3 
Oxenford, John, 208 
Oxford Gazette, 46-7 

Paine, Tom, 116, 120, 127, 163 

Painter, George, 196, 198 

Pall Mall Gaaette, 177, 196, 229, 244-9, 
252-62, 265, 268, 302 

Palmerston, Lord, 326 

Paper industry, 275-6 

Paris Gazette, 49 

Parke, Ernest, 269 

" Parker, Johnny," 243 

Parkinson, J. C, 319 

Parliamentary reporting, 157-8 

Pamell, C. S., 321, 328 

Pamell forgeries, 184 

Parry, John, 164 

Pasquin, 96 

PatrU, 338 

Patriot King, The, 93 

Payn, James, 319 

Peacock, Thos. Love, 325 

Pearse, H. S., 265 

Pearson, C. A., 255, 278-9 

Pearson's Weekly, 278 

Peerage for the People, 279 

Pellegrini, Carlo, 263 

Pendennis, see Thackeray 

Penn, William, 117 

Penny newspaper, 197, 217 

Penny a Week Country Daily News- 
paper, 21 

Perceval, Spencer, 145-6 

Perrot, 46 

Perry, James, 146, 153-8 

Perry, John, 327 

Persius, 29 

Peter Porcupine's Memoirs, 120 

Petit Journal, 267 

Philip van Artevelde, 349] 

Piccadilly, 235, 252, 264 

Pi^ot, E. F. S., 220-3 

Pigott imposture, the, 184 

Pillars of Hercules, 296 

Place, Francis, 133 



Platform, Press, Politics, and Play, 9 

Play, the, 81 

Plunket, David, 268 

Plymouth and Devonport Journal, 299 

Plymouth Mail, 299 

Poe, E. A., 150, 226 

Political Progress of Britain, WJ 

Political Register, 121, 128, 130 

Political use of the Press, 82-4, 91, 93 

Pollock, W. H., 234 

Pope quoted, 72 

" Poplicola," see Sit P. Francis 

Porcupine, Peter, see Cobbett 

Porcupine, The, 120-1, 293-4 

Porter, Mr., 282 

Portfolio, The, 296 

Pottleton Legacy, The, 261 

Poyning's I^w, 314 

Press, The, 84, 205-6 

Press (Irish), 308, 310 

Price, Dr., 116 

Priestley, 116, 217 

" Process " block-making, 281-2 

Procter, Mrs., 156 

Prosecution of Cobbett, 134-5 

Prospect from the Congress Gallery, llS 

Protestant Reformation, History of the, 

133 
Prout, Father, 187 
Provoked Husband, A, 96 
Prowse, Jef&ey, 210, 271, 275, 325 
Public Advertiser, 105-7, lio-ll 
Pile's Occurrences, 311 
Pulpit Oratory, 152 
Pulteney, 33-6 
Punch, 209, 323 
Purnell, Thomas, 243 
Pym, 36, 42, 321 

Quarterly Review, 148, 153, 195, 

219. 285, 333, 353, 357 
Queen's Messenger, The, 264 



Radnoh, Earl of, 134-5 
Ralph, James, 91-2 
Ralph, John, 299 
Rambler, The, 101-3 
Rapier, The, 299 
Raven, The, 226 
Reader, The, 350 
Redding, Cyrus, 172 
Redmond, John, 320-1 
Reeve, Henry, 183, 213 
Reflections, of Burke, 163 
Refected Addresses, The, 148 
R^naudod, 306 

Representative, The, 194-5, 34^ 
Review of the Affairs of State, 63, 
69-70 



366 



INDEX 



Rice, J, A., 317 
Rights of Man, The, 120 
Rintoul, R. S., 236, 238-9 
Ritchie, James, 287-8 
Hood to Ruin, The, 97 
Roberts, John, 109 
Roberts, Lord, 356 
Robertson, T. W., 246 
Robinson Crusoe, 61-2 
Robinson, H. C, 170 
Robinson, J. R., 214, 319 
Rogers, Frederick, see Bkchford 
Rogers, George, 130 
Rogers, J. E. , quoted, 342 
Roman influence, 28-9 
Roman Poets of the Republic, 29 
Romilly, 159 
de Ros, Lord, 173, 330 
Rosebery, Lord, 238 
R'osenhagen, Rev. Philip, 109 
Rothschild, Baron Lionel, 248 
Runnymede Letters, 180 
Rush, Dr., 121 

Russel, Alexander, 285, 287-92 
Russell, Sir E. R., 8, 293 
Russell, General F. S., 356 
Russell, G. W. E., 8, 215, 348 
Russell, W. H., 182, 215, 249, 355 

Sackville, Lord Geokge, 109 

St. /ames's Chronicle, 193, 243 

St. James's Gazette, 229, 254-5, 278 

Saintsbury, Mr., quoted, 25 

Sala, G. A., 199, 209, 229 

Salisbury, Lord, 233-4, 320 

Sallust, 28 

Saturday Review, 85, 198, 209, 221, 

229-35. 244. 334 
Saunders' News Letter, 316-7, 321 
Saunders, William, 298, 300, 316 
Schlesinger, Max, 252 
Schneider, Mr., 252 
Scotsman, The, 66, 2io, 285, 287-91 
Scott, Clement, 139, 235 
Scott, C. P., 294-5 
Scott, Rev. Wm., 232, 235 
Scott, Sir W., 194-S, 218 
Scott, Temple, 84, 86 
Season, The, 198 
Sellar, Professor, quoteo 19 
" Senate of Lilliput," lOx, 104 
Sexton, Thomas, 314-6 
Shaw, Dr., 317, 321 
Shebbeare, 98 
Shelley, P. B., 148, 152 
Sheridan, R. B., 155 
Shimmin, Hugh, 293 
Shirley quoted, 72 

Shortest Way with Dissenters, 64, 67 
Sidneys of Penshurst, the, 33 



Singleton Fontenoy, 228 

Sinnett, A. P., 201, 302 

Sir Pitt Crawley's Letter, 245 

Skeffington, Mr., 316 

Sketchley, Arthur, 271 

Skimpole and Leigh Hunt, 1 5 1-2 

Slap at Slop, A, 172 

Sleigh, Colonel, 208 

Smalley, G. W., 343 

Smith, Albert, 225, 261 

Smith, Egerton, 293 

Smith, George, 210 

Smith, G. M., 243-4, 253 

Smith, Horace, 148 

Smith, James, I48 

Smith, Sydney, 317 

Smollett, Tobias, 89, 97, 162 

Smollett, P. B., 99 

Smylie, Mr., 319 

Smythe, P. W., see Strangford 

Social Life and Journalism, TiTi-tj 

Somervell, James, 287 

Songs of the Governing Classes, 227 

Southey, Robert, 153, 158, 164 

Sowler, James and Thomas, 295-6 

Spectator, The, 76-7, 236, 238-40 

Speculum Ctapegowtiorum, 65 

Spencer, Herbert, 221 

Spender, Edward, 8, 298, 300, 340 

Spender, J. A., 257 

Stack, Herbert, 210-11 

Stamp Duty, 128 

Standard, The, 191, 193, 196-g, 200-2, 

206, 210, 233, 250, 277, 323, 333 
Stanhope, Earl, 163 
Stanley, Arthur, 354 
Stanley, Edward, 180 
Stanley, H. M., 210 
Staple of News, 210 
Star, The, 219, 236, 262 
Star, The, 269 
Statistics, newspaper, 342 
Stead, W. T., 254, 302 
Steele, Dr. J. P., 52, 66, 72-79, 286 
Steinkopff, Edward, 254 
Stephen, Sir James, 232 
Sterling, Colonel, 203 
Sterling, Edward, 160, 171, 175-7 
Sterling, Sir Robert, 175 
Stewart, Sir Chas., see Londonderry 
Stoddart, John, 171-2 
Story of Rimini, 148, 152 
Stowe, Mrs. Beecher, 199 
Stowe, W. H., 250 
Strachey, J. St. Loe, 275, 336-7 
" Strada, «« Barnes 
Straight, Sir D., 260 
Strangford, Viscount, 247-8 
Stratheden and Campbell, Lord, 155-6 
Stuart, Daniel, 162-5, l^^i 3V 



INDEX 



367 



Stuart, Peter, 163 
Stuart, Professor, 260-70 
Sub-editor, the, 339-41, 344-5 
Suez Canal, French desire to dominate, 

248 
Sullivan, Sir Arthur, 263 
Sunday Companion, The, 272 
.Sussex Daily News, 299 
Sussex, Duke of, 161-2 
Sutherland, Duchess of, 330 
Swann, Joseph, 132 
Swift, J., 64, 87-95, "3. "S> 30s 
Swinburne, Sir John, 148 

" Tacitus," 28 
Tale of a T/16, 90, 113, 115 
Talleyrand, 119 
Tandy, Edward, 312 
Taller, The, 73, 152 
Tattersall, 187 

Taverns as meeting-places, 73-6 
Taylor, Sir Henry, 349 
Telegraph (Ireland), 316 
Temple Beau, The, 96 
Temple, Sir Wm., 115 
Temps, Le, 321 
Test, The, 99 
Thackeray, W. M., 19, 161, 177, 193-4, 

225, 229, 285, 321, 347 
Thieblin, M., 252-3 
Thomas, William, 282 
Thompson, Captain, see Dutton Cook 
Thompson, Gordon, 271 
Thompson, James, 117 
Thompson, Yates, 253 
Thorpbury, Walter, 233 
Thoughts upon Present State of Affairs, 

3" 
Three Louisas, Unlimited Loo, The, 225 
•" Thunderer," The, 175 
Tichbome trial^ 310 
Tiemey, 129, 156 
Times, The, 154, 160, 169-71, 174-85, 

192, 206, 323-4, 326, 333 
Times History of Boer War, The, 356 
Tit-Bits, 256-7, 272, 277 
Tom Jones, 97 
Tomahaiok, The, 262-3 
Town Talk, 77, 261 
Townsend, Meredith, 239 
Traill, H. D., 92, 210-11, 245, 265 
Traveller, The, 150 
Trevelyan, Sir G. O., 347 
Tribune (London), 353 
Trollope, A., 238, 244 
TroUope, T. A., 199 
True Bom Englishman, TTie, 52, 67 
True Sun, The, 237 
Trumbull, Jonathan, 143 
Truth, 214, 265 



Tucker, Marwood, 243, 260 
Tuohy, J. M., 9, 315 
Tuppenny Trash, 134 . 
Turner, Godfrey, 250 
Tutchin, John, 49, 51 
Two Chiefs of Dunboy, 305-6 

" Uncle Sam," see Samuel Ward 
United Irishman, 210 
United Irishmen, the, 312 
Universal Chronicle, 104 
University Club, Dublin, 313 
Urquhart, David, 296-7, 303 

Vane, Sir Henry, 36 

Vanity Fair, 263 
Venables, G. S., 232 
"Verax," see Dunckley 
" Vetus," see E. Sterling 

Vindicia Gallictc, 163 
"Vinegar, Capt. Hercules," see Henry 
Fielding 

Vision of fudgment, 152 

Vivian Grey, 348 

Vizetelly, Henry, 223-5, 229, 281 

Voltaire, 308 

Voules, Horace, 268 

Wace, Dean, 354 

Walewski, M., 189 

Walker, Thomas, 214 

Wallace, Rev. Robert, 287, 290-1 

Wallace, Sir D. M., 334 

Walmsley, Sir J., 213 

Walpole, Horace, 157 

Walpole, Sir Robert, 74, 82-3, 153 

Walpole, Spencer, 181, 204-5 

Walter, John (ist), 168-9, 192. 335 

Walter, John (2nd), 170-1 

Warburton, Eliot, 252 

War Correspondent, the, 35S-7 

Ward, Artemus, 271 

Ward, Samuel, 264, 342 

War OfSce clerks as writers, 139 

Watts, H. E., 199, 301 

Week's Chat, The, 152 

Weekly Dispatch, 279 

Weekly Freeman, 320 

Weikoff, Henry, 264 

Wellington, Lord, 331, 355 

Wescomb, Charles, 286 

Wesley, John, 81 

Western Morning News, 298, 300-I 

Westminster Gazette, 257 

Westminster Review, 128, 219 

Whamcliffe, Lord, 263 

Whig Examiner, 94 

White, Rowland, 33 

White, William, Z15 



368 



INDEX 



White's Chocolate House, 73 
White's Club, 73 
Whitehurst, Felix, 199, 209 
Whitty, E. M., 215, 222-3, 292 
Whitty, M. J., 292-3 
Whyte, W. Holt, 249-51 
Wikoff, Chev., 342 
Wilberforce, Samuel, 189, 210 
Wilkes, John, 99, 100, 109, in, 311 
Wilkie, D., 148 
Wilkinson, Kosmo, 265 
Wilkinson, Spenser, 356 
Will's, 74 

Williams, Charles, 250 
Williams, Robert, 238 
Willis, N. P., 150 
Willox, Sir John A., 293 
Wilson, E. D. J., 267 
Wilson, Sir F. W., 269 
Wimble, Will, see Thos. Morecraft 
Wolseley, Lord, 355-6 
Women, Johnson's writings in defence 

of, 103 
Wood, Sir E., 357 



Woodfall, Henry, 105 

Woodfall, H. S., 105, 108-11 

Woodfall, Wm., 153 

Woods, " Nick," 25b 

Wordsworth, Wm., 164 

Workhouse, the, 245-6 

World, The (London), 80, 229, 235, 

264-S, 274 
World (New York), 342 
Wortley, J. S., 262 
Wright, Mr., 130 
Wright's Life of Defoe, 62 
Wyknd, 271 

Xenophon, 28 

Yatbs, Edmund, 225, 228-9, 235, 

260-2, 264 
York, denouncements of Duke of, 168-9 
Yorkshire Post, The, 286, 298, 300, 

304 
Young, Arthur, 163 
Young Brown, 264 
Young Ireland movement, 307-10 



DNWIN BROTHEKS, UMITED, THE GRESBAM PRESS, WOKING AND LONDON.